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15-year-old arrested for deadly shooting of Gastonia father

YORK, S.C. — A 15-year-old has been arrested after a Gastonia father was shot and killed earlier this month.

On May 4, the York Police Department was called to a home on Galilean Road, where they found the body of 21-year-old Jai’Shaun Young. Police said Young was standing on the back porch when someone fired shots.

Young’s mom said he was at the home with his friends visiting girls they had just met on social media. She said the shooter, a stranger, opened fire because people from out of town were in the community.

On Tuesday, Shauna Burger told Channel 9′s Ken Lemon about her pursuit of justice for her son. She said that while she’s relieved to hear that someone has been arrested in the case, she’s hurt to learn that the person charged was 15 years old.

“I’m shocked. I’m shocked,” she said.

Burger said her son had a soft spot in his heart for younger people, and if he was alive, he might ask the court to go easy on the teen charged. But she said because he’s not here, she sees the world differently.

“I don’t understand how someone you don’t even know -- you could just decide to take their life,” Burger said.

Burger said she doesn’t believe the suspect had any connection to her son. She feels sorry for their family.

“With their child being a young age, because they have such a long life ahead of them,” she said.

That’s as far as Burger’s sympathy goes. In the past week and half, she has been a part of vigils held for her son. She has attended a funeral for the 21-year-old and explained to her 4-year-old grandson that his father is gone and not coming back.

She said the 15-year-old suspect needs to consider that.

“I don’t want to hear the ‘I’m sorry’s or ‘I didn’t mean to do it,’ because none of that can bring my son back,” Burger said.

She said her son’s last words were to instruct the mother of the girl he was talking with to protect her 1-year-old child. The baby was in the house at the time of the shooting. No one else was hurt.

Burger said she is scared for life. She also said those responsible must pay, regardless of their age.

“I’m not going to sugarcoat it. I hope they never get out,” she said. “I want them tried as an adult.”

Channel 9′s Ken Lemon asked York County Solicitor Kevin Brackett to confirm if the teen will be tried as an adult. He said they’ll have to look at the circumstances of the case before deciding, but they have done so in three other recent cases.

The teenager was charged with murder and 10 counts of attempted murder, Brackett told our partners at the Charlotte Observer.

VIDEO: Police: Man shot, killed in York’s first homicide since 2022