Reverend recalls moments before Lancaster teen took his last breaths

Reverend recalls moments before Lancaster teen took his last breaths

LANCASTER, SC (WBTV) - Reverend Wayne Murray, Executive Director for Hope on the Hill, was inside as gunfire erupted outside his organization's building Wednesday night.

"I heard the shots. I was inside and I was wondering why the kids were running back in the building," said Murray.

It didn't take long for him to figure out what was going on. Gunshots were being fired outside of the Barr Street Learning Center.

"There were so many shots. It sounded like firecrackers," recounted Murray.

He said there were probably 75 kids leaving the center at the time of the shooting. One of them was struck by the gunfire.

Allen Cooper Junior, a 17-year-old basketball player from Lancaster High School, had been hit.

RELATED: Lancaster HS student shot, killed following basketball game

Murray said he called 911 and went to be with the teen while waiting for paramedics to arrive. He said the other teens who were with Cooper were getting restless. Murray felt it was a time to pray.

"I just asked everybody to pray, so they prayed with me and when I said 'Amen,' he took his last breath," said Murray.

It is unknown who fired the shots that claimed Cooper's life. However, Murray thinks the shooting was deliberate.

"That was something that was planned. They planned to do this," said Murray regarding the shooting.

Security upgrades are now coming to the Barr Street Learning Center.

The campus already has security cameras and metal detectors, but now Murray said he is bringing in police officers for basketball games. He said backpacks and large purses will be banned from the campus.

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