MONCKS CORNER S.C. (WCBD) – Ariel Morgan was a kind and caring young woman who adored her friends and family.
On June 7th, 2014, Morgan was enjoying a block party in Moncks Corner when she was suddenly hit by a bullet, after a nearby argument turned violent.
She passed away at just 19 years old.
This is her story, as told by her mother, Kendra Stevens, who is keeping her daughter’s memory alive.
Ariel, at the time of her death, she was working at Rack Room Shoes. She had been working there since she was 16. And she was a rising sophomore at Francis Marion University in Florence, and she was in the nursing program. Before then, she was a graduate of Stratford High School and she cheered most of her life since she was 8 years old. So she was a very fun loving, young lady, free spirit, and just enjoyed her family and definitely her friends, and her little brother.Kendra Stevens, Ariel’s Mother
Morgan was at a party on Tish Lane when she was shot. The party was never intended to grow so large. Authorities credit social media for spreading news of the party into the upstate, leading to an estimated 800 to 1,000 young adults in attendance. And with so many people, comes the unknown.
She had someone call me to tell me that she had been shot.Kendra Stevens, Ariel’s Mother
Frantic to see her daughter, but with little information to go on, Stevens got directions from two helpful men at a gas station, who were familiar with the location of the party.
She mentioned that she was going to a party in Moncks Corner, you know, she didn’t mention the area. I knew nothing of the area. We lived in Moncks Corner, you know, so I trusted her enough that she knew where she was going.Kendra Stevens, Ariel’s Mother
Stevens was able to fight her way through the chaotic scene and speak to her daughter for what would end up being the last time.
She was in the ambulance, and they had her, and she was fine. But they told me that they [were] gonna take her to the hospital so I said, ‘I love you Ariel’ and she said ‘I love you too Mommy’. And that was the last I [saw] her.Kendra Stevens, Ariel’s Mother
The Berkeley County Sheriff’s office was the responding agency. Captain Bobby Schuler has been working the case since the beginning.
You know, we got this young lady who just went to an after school, end of the school year block party, hoping to go there, have a good time, and go home. And probably just like hundreds of other people that went to that block party was planning on doing. Going there, having a good time, socialize with the friends and leave. And then this tragic incident happened.Captain Bobby Schuler, BCSO
As any mother would do, Kendra kept up the investigation, referring everyone who came to her with information to the investigators. While she still keeps in touch with the investigators, six years after the tragedy, she doesn’t not frequent them as much.
Honestly, I just stopped because….people are not helping them. So in order for Ariel’s case to be solved, the community has to help them. Someone knows who did it. Someone knows who was out there shooting. But you have this thing in the African American community called the no snitch code.Kendra Stevens, Ariel’s Mother
While Captain Schuler says they’ve had countless interviews from across the Lowcountry into the Upstate, when you compare their numbers to the attendance of close to 1,000 people at the block party, it’s not what it should be.
It has been, in retrospect, with the amount of people out there, the amount of information that’s flowed through back in here is limited to me, compared to what it probably should be.Captain Bobby Schuler, BCSO
But Kendra, has a theory.
They probably know who did and who’s to say, one of the people who got shot, probably is the one who started the shooting.Kendra Scott, Ariel’s Mother
Meanwhile, the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office has confirmed their belief that the fight leading up to the shooting was affiliated with two rival gangs.
While many in the community believe there have been few, if any leads, Captain Schuler says otherwise, but cautions against false hope:
We’re looking into some information that hopefully you know, once we take it and present it and everything else, based off the facts and findings that we have, we’re hoping for it to be an arrest here. Hopefully soon.Captain Bobby Schuler , BCSO
But that arrest cannot happen without finding that last piece of the puzzle.
It could be like I said, just one person that comes forward with that last piece of the puzzle that will just close it for us. And that’s what we’re looking for.Captain Bobby Schuler, BSCO
Since Ariel Morgan’s passing:
- Kendra Stevens has created the Ariel Elaine Morgan Scholarship for students at Ariel’s Alma Mater, Stratford High School. As of 2020, 8 scholarships have been awarded in addition to televisions, writing supplies, and so much more.
- June 7th has been deemed ‘Princess Ariel Elaine Morgan Day’ in Berkeley County.
- Ambassador Avenue in the Longridge community, near Tish Lane, has been renamed Ariel Elaine Morgan Memorial Road.
- Ariel’s case has been added to the Cold Case playing card deck as the King of Diamonds. Those packs of cards have been handed out in the Lowcountry prison system to assist in gathering information.
- It has also been clarified that past reports of a Tweet Ariel posted the night before in regards to ‘Charleston’s Most Ratchets’ was a retweet of a close friend, and not penned by Ariel.
If you have any information regarding Ariel Morgan’s case, contact the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office.