Neighbors of Peach Stand murder suspect shocked

Photo provided to WBTV courtesy of family members.
Photo provided to WBTV courtesy of family members.
(Kristi O'Connor/WBTV)
(Kristi O'Connor/WBTV)
Mendez (York County Sheriff's Office)
Mendez (York County Sheriff's Office)

LANCASTER, SC (WBTV) - Neighbors of Christopher Mendez, the man accused of killing a 19-year-old woman at The Peach Stand in Fort Mill on Tuesday, are shocked over the arrest.

Mendez, 28, lives on Pardue Street at the Palmetto Place Apartments in Lancaster. There was no answer to knocks on his door Thursday morning.

Neighbors say he was polite and quiet. They never expected him to be capable of murder.

"I thought, 'not my Chris, he's so quiet,'" neighbor Lavondre Duncan said. "I just don't understand what could have happened."

"That was a shocker, I didn't expect him of all people," Contalia Duncan said. "He seemed normal, he took care of his mamma, that was about it."

Fort Mill Police still have yet to release a potential motive in the case. They only say Mendez and victim Karson Whitesell did not know each other. They also say the incident was not related to domestic violence or an armed robbery.

Meanwhile, dozens of bouquets of flowers are being laid outside The Peach Stand doors in honor of Whitesell.

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Diane Gleen says she didn't know Whitesell personally but was certain Whitesell waited on her before. Gleen says she is a regular customer at The Peach Stand.

"I brought flowers for the Whitesell family and The Peach Stand family so that God will provide comfort in their hour of bereavement," Gleen said. "I know this is emotionally difficult and this is a great loss to the community."

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