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14-year-old killed in Kernersville park was with mom, sister when he was shot, family says
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14-year-old killed in Kernersville park was with mom, sister when he was shot, family says

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Fourth of July Park

Marcus Lee Key, 14, was fatally shot Wednesday at the popular Fourth of July park on West Mountain Street in Kernersville.

KERNERSVILLE — A 14-year-old boy died of a gunshot wound at a Kernersville park on Wednesday, Kernersville Police said.

Marcus Lee Key was found at the park with a wound to the head around 6:30 p.m., police reported.

Police in Kernersville said the shooting was an isolated incident and there is no threat to the public.

Authorities have provided no other details on the shooting and have reported no arrests. The investigation is ongoing, police said.

Marcus was a sixth-grader at Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools’ Virtual Academy, school district spokesman Brent Campbell said Thursday.

Members of the school district’s crisis team are available to students for support, he said.

Shelby Joyce, Marcus’ aunt, called her nephew a cheerful boy who “loved his skinny jeans and busted-up crocs.” He also enjoyed TikTok and going to the park with his family, she said.

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Marcus previously attended Kernersville Elementary School, Joyce said.

“He was in the wrong place at the wrong time,” she said about the shooting.

The popular park is on West Mountain Street and is adjacent to Kernersville Elementary School.

The family said on social media that Marcus was at the park with his mother and sister when he was shot.

The park was closed overnight, but by 9:30 a.m. Thursday, walkers and pickle ball players were out and about enjoying a warm morning.

The family is raising money to pay for the boy’s funeral through GoFundMe.com.

Marcus is the second student in Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools to die of gun violence so far this school year.

On Sept. 1, William Miller Jr., 15, was killed at Mount Tabor High School. Maurice T. Evans, 15, has been indicted for murder in that case.

Earlier this month, Norah Smitherman, 17, a student at Forbush High School in Yadkin County was killed by gunfire. One of her classmates at the school, a 17-year-old, has been charged with second-degree murder.

336-727-7420

@lisaodonnellWSJ

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