School district mourns teen shot dead in Aiken parking lot

Aiken crime
Aiken crime(WRDW)
Published: Dec. 7, 2021 at 9:38 AM EST
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AIKEN. S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) - The Aiken High School principal remembers a slain student as someone who had a positive approach to life.

Thaj Nance-Parker, 16, was fatally shot Friday night outside the fast-food restaurant where he worked.

“The Aiken County Public School District and Aiken High School families are saddened after learning of the sudden passing of AHS student Thaj Nance-Parker during a senseless act of gun violence,” the district said in a statement.

Aiken High Principal Dr. Jason Holt said Nance-Parker’s “positivity and encouraging approach to people will be sorely missed,” according to the district.

“At this difficult time we remember the profound impact Thaj had on anyone who spoke with him or worked with him and we celebrate how his unique personality and character made our community a much better place,” the district said.

“Our thoughts and prayers, along with ongoing supports, go out to Thaj’s family, friends, and the rest of the Aiken High School family,” the statement concluded.

Nance-Parker was found with a gunshot wound after the Aiken Department of Public Safety responded around 7 p.m. Friday to investigate a report of a shooting in the parking lot of a McDonald’s at 1157 York St.

The teenager was taken to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead a short time later.

The Aiken Department of Public Safety said it’s too early to say what the motive might have been.

The agency said Tuesday that authorities had no new information to release about the shooting, which “is still an active investigation.”

Authorities said information from the community is vital to solving this and any crime. Anyone with information on this crime is urged to call Aiken Department of Public Safety at 803-642-7620 or submit a tip to Crime Stoppers by using the P3 Tips app or going to and clicking “Submit a Tip.” Tips submitted through Crime Stoppers will remain anonymous and may receive a cash reward of up to $1,000.

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