Friends recall Gateway Village shooting victims as funny, athletic

Homicide victims Jamie Gill and Kevin Cano were remembered Monday as close friends with contrasting personalities.

The 20-year-old A.L. Brown High graduates were gunned down just after midnight Friday in Gateway Village, a redeveloped residential and business district on the edge of uptown Charlotte.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police charged 29-year-old Richard Henry Jordan Jr. with two counts of murder. He's accused of spraying their car with bullets at the intersection of West Trade and Cedar streets, a few yards from the Charlotte campus of Johnson & Wales University.

Court records list Jordan's address as 8810 Eaglewind Drive in Charlotte. He has a lengthy arrest record, including convictions for robbery, attempted robbery, assault on a female and resisting a public officer, according to court records.

Police said that the accused shooter and victims somehow knew each other but haven't released the motive they suspect for the killings.

Gill and Cano, both of Kannapolis, were remembered Monday as friends with vibrant personalities. Gill was known for making his classmates and friends laugh. Cano was the hard worker who became a standout football player tough enough to play through a difficult injury.

“Jamie (Gill) was always happy,” said friend Tia Slocum. “He lived life to the fullest. He was really goofy, but he had the biggest heart.”

Cano was known for his standout play as a defensive lineman for the high school football team, which reached the state semifinals in 2005. He returned two fumbles for touchdowns that season. Coach Ron Massey said Cano tore a knee ligament in the first game of his senior season in 2006, but the student was determined to press on.

“The doctors said he should have surgery on it, but Kevin tried to play through it,” Massey said. “He was a tough kid…Kevin was just a terrific kid, and you always enjoyed being around him.”

Friends of the two young men swamped their Facebook pages with more than 50 messages of condolence.

Two Facebook communities were created in their memory, including one to help their families with funeral costs. Cano's funeral was Monday in Kannapolis. Gill will be buried there today.

“This has hit everybody pretty hard,” said Jordan Mayhew, who graduated with the two in 2007. “So many people are friends with them. They never got into a fight with anyone.”

Slocum wrote that Cano was “like a big brother” on his Facebook page and said the two were both influential to her.

“They were great people,” Slocum said. “They deserved a lot more.”

Visitation for Jamie Gill will be from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. today at First Baptist Church in Kannapolis. The funeral follows at the church.