People who called 911 from the Peach Stand in Fort Mill after a 19-year-old cashier was killed last month said they heard gunshots and screams and could smell smoke.
The audio of multiple 911 calls made that night reveals a scene of chaos and confusion at the iconic Fort Mill store.
Police called the Jan. 23 shooting of Karson Whitesell a “random” killing.
Whitesell, who was shot and killed just before 5 p.m. Jan. 23, was remembered by friends and family as a “bubbly” artist who “wanted to make a change in the world.”
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Christopher Benjamin Mendez, 28, was arrested at the Peach Stand after the killing.
A man who called 911 told the operator that he heard at least four gunshots inside the store.
“I just drove into the gas station and I hear boom, boom, boom, boom,” the man said in the 911 call. “Everyone’s run out of the gas station. There’s a person on the ground.”
Another man who called 911 told the operator that he worked in the meat department at the Peach Stand. He told the operator he ran out the back door.
“I have a 2-year-old daughter and I’m not dying,” he said on the call.
The caller told the 911 operator he saw the man with the gun.
“He was standing in front of the drink cooler just shooting his gun off,” he said.
A woman called 911 while hiding in the back of the store. She told the 911 operator that she didn’t know if anyone was hurt or if the shooter was still there. She was whispering throughout the call.
Mendez worked at the Goodwill in Lancaster. Neighbors told The Herald he “seemed like a normal guy.”
Mendez was charged with murder and possession of a weapon during a violent crime. He is being held at the York County Detention Center without bond.
Hannah Smoot: 803-329-4068