High school team plays in honor of fallen teammate

West Virginia

CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – Shock and disbelief continues to ripple through Charleston as the city mourns the tragic shooting death of 18-year-old K.J. Taylor.

The high school senior and student athlete was killed last night on Central Avenue near the Jarrett Terrace apartments.

Taylor was a member of the Capitol High School basketball team, which had a game scheduled for tonight.

Capital High School had the option to postpone their basketball game against South Charleston tonight to mourn the loss of their teammate.

However, they decided that K.J. would’ve wanted them to play.

“This is something bigger than basketball tonight. I think these two teams are coming together in his name,” says Wade Murray, former coach of K.J.

Capital High School played with heavy hearts on the court in their first game without the stand-out.

“He would just want both teams to play for him for real. I feel like he would just want everyone on the team to go hard for him, and show off for him,” remarks Kevin Tinsley, a Senior at South Charleston High School.

Tinsley played against K.J. in football. He says although they attended different schools, they were still good friends.

“When I’m around him, always had good vibes, he can make a whole room be happy just cause he’s there.”

A West Side kid, who will be remembered for the way he lit up the room.

“He was just a special kid.. you really can’t put it into words. You could tell he was in the room just by his presence. He didn’t say much, but he had a smile that would light up the room,” comments Murray.

And a young man, who just wanted to represent his roots.

“He wanted to put on for the city, for the West Side,” spoke Tinsley.

“He was never a kid who ripped and ran the streets or was disrespectful to anyone. And I just hate this for the community on the west side,” says Murray.

A candlelight vigil is expected to take place Friday night at the same place where K.J. tragically lost his life.

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