“My Life Was Forever Changed In That Moment.”–Mother Of Peach Stand Murder Victim Speaks Out A Year Later
ROCK HILL, SC. — A year after her daughter’s murder, the mother of an innocent girl shot and killed inside a Fort Mill convenience store is speaking out.
19-year-old Karson Whitesell was killed while working at the Peach Stand on January 23, 2018.
Debbie Harrison describes her daughter as a fun, unique girl, who had a passion for service.
“We have a lot of those little inside jokes, that’s what I miss the most and I really would love a hug,” says Harrison.
When shots rang out inside the Peach Stand, Debbie says in a panic, she drove to the iconic store immediately. Police were waiting.
“I asked her is my daughter dead? She said, ‘Is your daughter Karson Whitesell?’ and I said yes. She said, ‘Yes ma’am I’m sorry to tell you that your daughter is dead.’”
A moment that changed Debbie’s life forever.
“I can’t call it a cry, I can’t call it a moan, just this noise came out of my body that I described as my soul shattering, the sound of my soul shattering.”
Police arrested Christopher Mendez at the scene and charged him with murder. Mendez told detectives during an interview that Karson gave him a ‘slight’ look when he walked into the Peach Stand that day. Security video shows him get a .45-caliber gun out his car and go back in the store and shoot Karson five times. Mendez’s public defender said he had a history of mental health issues. Mendez pled guilty to her murder. He will spend the rest of his life in prison without parole.
Karson’s mother says she’s getting by with community support, and her faith.
“I hope she couldn’t see me when I cry because I don’t want her to see me sad, but I hope she can see me when I’m doing good and that she’s proud of me.”
Karson was a missionary, that’s why her mother started Karson’s Kompassion Project. They do volunteer work and work with non-profits in Karson’s name.
Look here for more information: https://www.facebook.com/karsonskompassionproject/