18-year-old killed in shooting was a dad, South Rowan HS grad, loved ones say

KANNAPOLIS, N.C. — Family and friends of an 18-year-old Kannapolis father who was shot and killed over the weekend said he was the protector of his family.

The Kannapolis Police Department is continuing the investigation into the shooting Sunday afternoon that left Isaiah Lorenzo Martinez dead.

Police said they responded to Pacific Court off Rainbow Drive shortly before 1:30 p.m. At the scene, police found Martinez who was shot. He died in a parking lot.

Channel 9′s Hannah Goetz spoke with his family and friends on Tuesday, who said for a young man, Martinez was juggling many responsibilities.

Those who knew him said Martinez was a bright and loving young man who will be missed by so many.

Joey Jordan said he knew Martinez since he was in the first grade.

“Being a dad was something that was special to him,” Jordan said. “At his age when he had his daughter, most kids would be scared. They wouldn’t step up and he never missed a beat”

Martinez also took care of his younger siblings while his mother worked.

Martinez graduated from South Rowan High School with a high GPA while playing football, friends and family members said.

“There wasn’t a teacher in the school that didn’t love him,” Jordan said. “He was just (smiling) every time you saw him. I don’t know if ever saw him not smiling for a while.”

His Aunt Tiffany Martinez remembers her nephew’s smile well.

Martinez said she has been scrolling through old pictures and videos of him. One was of him cannon-balling into the water at the beach.

“Isaiah, I love you. I love you Zay and as hard as it is, I know you are looking down on me, your mama, your siblings and definitely looking down on your daughter,” his aunt told Goetz. “We are going to love your daughter to the fullest.”

A family friend set up a GoFundMe to help with funeral expenses.

There has not been a lot of information released about the deadly shooting.

If you have any information about what happened, you are asked to call Kannapolis police.

This is a developing story, check back at wsoctv.com for updates.

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Hannah Goetz

Hannah Goetz, wsoctv.com

Hannah is a reporter for WSOC-TV.