‘Her light never dims’: Mom of 19-year-old killed at Fort Mill Peach Stand one year later

One year after the Fort Mill Peach Stand shooting

ROCK HILL, SC (WBTV) - It has been one year since Debbie Harrison’s daughter Karson Whitesell was shot and killed by a man she didn’t know while working at The Peach Stand in Fort Mill,

“To truly, just wrap your mind around that sudden loss, it’s a process that takes time,” she says.

Tie-dye flowers – Karson’s favorite – sit near a photo of the 19-year-old as soon as you walk into Harrison’s home. She says they had a special relationship – mother-daughter, but also friends.

“Never did I think, when I talked to her when she was going to work and I said, ‘I love you, I’ll talk to you later,’ did I think that was our last phone call,” she says.

Wednesday, a prayer service was held at Illumine Church in Rock Hill to mark the year that has passed.

“I stand here tonight, a year after learning that my daughter was killed, with a stronger faith, and a more confident faith,” Harrison told the crowd.

People there from the Peach Stand say it hardly feels like a year since they have had to return to work without their friend.

“We just decided fear wasn’t going to rule our lives, and we wanted to honor Karson in the best way we could,” Jene Therrell says.

And so did Debbi Harrison.

She started “Karson’s Kompassion Project,” which serves the community and people in Africa, which her daughter was passionate for.

“I saw early on, it was my mission to make sure love and light overcame the evil that took her from this earth,” Harrison says.

She’ll use the project to continue her daughter’s legacy, helping others however she can.

“I feel like it’s my responsibility to live for the both of us,” she says. “And to make sure that her light never dims.”

A now annual event hosted by Karson’s Kompassion Project is coming up soon. It’s called Kommunity Kare Day, a day of service on February 17th. One day before Karson’s birthday.

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