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Grieving Community Pays Tribute to 14-year-old Slain by Store Owner

Grieving Community Pays Tribute to 14-year-old Slain by Store Owner

According to Leevy’s Funeral Home, a visitation for Cyrus Carmack-Belton, who was allegedly murdered by the proprietor of a petrol station in South Carolina, will take place on Friday. On Saturday, we will hold his funeral services.

Sheriff’s officials in Richland County, Washington, said that 58-year-old Rick Chow has been arrested and charged with murder in connection with the death of Cyrus, who was 14 years old. The police said Chow falsely suspected Cyrus of stealing several water bottles.

“He did not shoplift anything,” Sheriff Leon Lott said during a press conference Monday. “We have no evidence that he stole anything whatsoever.” Cyrus attended Summit Parkway Middle School, and on Thursday the school posted a memorial on Facebook, calling Cyrus its “young Eagle.”

“He was intelligent, humorous with quick wit and well-liked by his classmates,” the post said. “We could always depend on Cyrus to ask questions beyond the scope of the topic as he often would seek to understand, rather than accept and move on.”

The institution he attended made note of his aspirations to open a tattoo parlor. Lott, speaking during a press conference held by the Richland County Sheriff’s Office on Monday, stated that there was an argument in the store before Cyrus fled and ran away.

Lott stated that the convenience store owner and his son pursued the adolescent, with the owner carrying a pistol, as reported by the police. During the chase, Cyrus fell, got up, and “at some point” the store owner’s son said that the kid had a pistol, according to the sheriff’s account given to the media.

Lott said that the father was the one who shot the teenager. Police said they discovered a firearm near the teen’s body. In a statement released to ABC News on Friday, Richland County Sheriff’s Department PIO Veronica Hill said, “Cyrus was in possession of the gun, but in South Carolina a juvenile cannot legally own a handgun.”

The origin of the gun is being looked into, she said. During her press conference, Richland County coroner Naida Rutherford claimed that Cyrus was killed by “a single gunshot wound to his right lower back” that resulted in “significant damage to his heart and hemorrhaging.”

The below tweet verifies the news:

Sheriff’s office incident report acquired by ABC News indicates that the shooting was not “a bias motivated incident.” In light of the murder charge, ABC News attempted to contact Chow’s attorney James Snell, Jr., but his office declined to comment.

After conducting a thorough assessment, Fifth Circuit Solicitor Byron E. Gipson’s office will decide if any more charges will be issued in the event, as stated in a statement released on Thursday. The shooting that occurred this week was not the only occasion in which Chow was suspected.

According to a statement sent to ABC News on Wednesday, Hill said that Chow had previously fired his gun in two separate situations with alleged shoplifters in 2015 and 2018, but that his actions in both cases “did not meet the requirements under South Carolina law to support criminal charges.”

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Todd Rutherford, who represents Cyrus’s family, told ABC News in a statement Wednesday that “what happened to [Cyrus] wasn’t an accident. It’s something that the Black community has experienced for generations: being racially profiled then shot down in the street like a dog.”

One beacon of hope is seeing the resilience of the Black community as they wrap their arms around this family that has joined the club that no Black family ever wants to be a part of,” he continued.

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