Balloon release honor teen killed at Moncks Corner block party

GOOSE CREEK, S.C. (WCIV) -- One month ago, deputies say 19-year-old Ariel Morgan was murdered at a block party in Moncks Corner. In honor of the anniversary, family and friends of Morgan hosted a balloon release at Stratford High School.

"To release balloons, you're watching something ascend into heaven," said Tommy Newell, whose daughter cheered with Morgan. "In a way, we lost an angel."

Morgan attended an annual neighborhood party along with hundreds of other students. Deputies say around midnight shots were fired and Morgan was hit.

She was pronounced dead at Medical University Hospital.

"Just shows me the way life is now," said Newell. "They don't care. They don't care about nobody except their street reputation. To me, it sucks."

Newell says he was a mentor to Morgan's little brother and will always remember her bright spirit.

"Just running up and tackling you when she tried to hug you," Newell said.

Newell says he knows other kids who attended the same party, and they recall how scary the scene was.

"They couldn't explain how it felt to hear the whizzing of the bullets by their heads and the thud that it made whenever it hit a car and people screaming falling down and jumping into ditches. They said it was like in the movies," said Newell.

At the time of the shooting, deputies said they were having trouble getting witnesses to come forward.

"It's been a month and the community hasn't come forth with any other information. And, that's pretty sad," said Newell. "To those people that were there I beg you, go to someone, go to an elder in your community, come to me, go to the sheriff. You can do this confidentially. You don't have to worry about your name being out there. Something has to be done. Help this family out. Help this community heal itself."

Moreover, Newell says he hopes the person responsible takes responsibility for his or her wrong.

"I think you spineless, weak cowards need to turn yourself in because if her mother gets a hold to you, you in trouble. "

If you have any information about this shooting, you can make an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers at 554-1111.

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