• 'I'm never gonna be the same': Gastonia mom heartbroken after son shot to death

    By: Gina Esposito


    GASTON COUNTY, N.C. - A mother is heartbroken after she said someone shot and killed her son overnight in Gastonia.

    Channel 9 was there as investigators spoke with possible witnesses and collected evidence at two different crime scenes.

    The victim's mother told Channel 9 the last time she saw her son, 30-year-old Kendall Gardin, he was sleeping at his grandmother's house on Saluda Drive.

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    She said just before 1 a.m., Gardin was walking home and was shot on Terra Drive, just around the corner from the home on Saluda Drive.

    Gaston County EMS said they were called and found Gardin lying in a front yard on Terra Drive. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

    “People came to try to help him, but of course it's too late, he was gone,” the victim’s mother said. “He was gone by the time they came for help. He's been laying out there for a long time and I just want to hold him for the last time. I never knew this day would come. I never thought this would happen to Kendall. But I did tell Kendall he was hanging with the wrong people."

    Police are still trying to figure out what exactly happened there.

    "People were saying they heard something that sounded like a firecracker," the victim's mother said. "My mom said people said they heard something like a firecracker. But that wasn't a firecracker, that was my son being shot."

    Shortly after the shooting, family members started to gather around the crime scene tape, heartbroken and confused as to why this happened.

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    (Kendall Gardin)

    Gardin's mother was extremely emotional when speaking to Eyewitness News.

    “I thought he just went to sleep and didn't wake up,” she said. “When I left my mom's house he was asleep, so I was thinking he was still sleeping, that he was just…unresponsive. I’m sorry.”

    No arrrests have been made.

    “He always looked out for his family, he always loved his family and he loved me and his father with all his heart and all his brothers and sisters,” the victim's mother said. "I'm never gonna be the same... I just want to say whoever out there that did this, you will be found."

    Neighbors who have lived in the area for years told Channel 9's Gina Esposito that the neighborhood is good and they hope this will be a wake-up call for others. 

    "We need to come together because God put us here together not to be mad, hurt, and to hurt one another, but to come together," resident Dorothy Davis Avery said. "The only thing I can say is that we hope and pray that we can all come together through circumstances that happened and learn from mistakes." 

    Check back with updates on this ongoing investigation.

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