KERNERSVILLE, N.C. (WGHP) — A bouquet of red flowers sits perched up on a tree in Fourth of July Park in Kernersville, flanked by a painted rock that reds RIP, in remembrance of Marcus Key.
The flowers were placed there by his mother, brother, and three sisters, less than 24 hours after the 14-year-old was shot and killed in what they call an act of targeted gunfire that killed Key, an innocent bystander.
“I just want justice for my son,” said Julia Gwyn, Marcus’ mother, as she stood near the path of scattered fall leaves that mark where her son took his last breath.
“The ambulance [paramedic] told me he was sorry and that he was dead. They wouldn’t let me hold him. I just wanted to hold him. I just want justice for him. I want whoever shot him in jail,” she said.
Kernersville police tell FOX8 that the shooting happened at the park and only involved juveniles, though no arrests have been made.
Gwyn said her son, and the rest of their family, visit Fourth of July park on a weekly basis, sometimes multiple times a week.
Her son loved it.
On Wednesday, they went as a group to play, which added to an already crowded park, they say.
Marcus spent time at the skatepark and tried to teach his mother how to skate.
“He was holding down the skate thing and he was like, ‘come on mamma, come on mamma, let’s play,’” Gwyn said, adding she never did get on the skateboard.
Witness told FOX8, at some point they heard a group of kids trying to pick a fight with someone.
Gwyn and her family heard this commotion and started to walk back to their vehicle which was parked on the other side of the park.
That’s when his mother heard the sound of a single gunshot go off. She and the rest of her family ran to their car.
Marcus did not make it back.
“Everybody from my family made it to the car but Marcus,” his mother said. “So, I went looking for him. I screamed, I screamed. I found him, and screamed ‘Marcus, Marcus get up.’ I got closer to him, and realized he was gone then.”
The death of her son is the first loss Gwyn has experienced that has left her feeling truly lost.
“He was a funny guy. Anybody that knew Marcus, There was never a dull moment with Marcus. He’ll pick a fight with you, he’ll argue with you, but he was mamma’s little boy. This is going to be my first Christmas without him. My first Thanksgiving. He loved the holidays, he loved being around family.”
Her message to those who killed her son, and their parents, is to come forward.
“If this was your kid, and you came out here and saw them like this how would you feel? Just feel that way and turn yourself in,” she said.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help Marcus’ family cover the cost of his funeral.