It's been more than five years since Lucinda Magwood's son was shot to death, and she still has a hard time dealing with it.
Robert Magwood Jr., 27, was gunned down near King and Congress streets Feb. 28, 2006. His killer has not been found. Investigators think he was on his way to a temporary work agency and don't see any reason why anybody would have shot him.
"If my son had died in a car wreck, that's different, because that's an accident," said Magwood, an intensive-care nurse at Medical University Hospital. "But this, they shot at him 14 times. That's the evil that keeps me from being able to put my trust and faith in people. My whole world has changed."
Magwood talked about her feelings after a vigil for murder victims Sunday afternoon. The ceremony was put on by the local Survivors of Homicide Support Group. It was part of the fifth annual National Day of Remembrance for Murder Victims.
The support group is coordinated by the Charleston County Sheriff's Office of Victim Assistance and the Medical University of South Carolina's Crime Victims Center.
Magwood has been coming to support groups since shortly after the murder, and she's making some progress. "They helped me to find good in humanity and to go on and do good for humanity," she said.
The support groups also make the community more aware of the impact of senseless violence, said Easter LaRoche, a victims' advocate with the sheriff's office. South Carolina ranks among the top 10 states for violent crimes per capita, she said.
During the service in North Charleston County Council chambers, about 20 people took a candle and said the name of a murdered family member.
The families of murder victims face a whole different set of challenges than those who have lost relatives to sickness or car wrecks, said Alyssa Rheingold, program coordinator with MUSC.
"Just knowing that someone else purposely took their loved one's life can make grief much more intense," Rheingold said.
Fouche Sheppard of Charleston was mourning her nephew, Kevin Lamar Johnson, who was shot to death Sept. 2, 2009, on Simmons Street at age 29. Darnell Tyrell White, 25, was charged in the killing.
"A support group makes a world of difference," Sheppard said. "We cry all the time, but we don't get on anybody's nerves. Nobody says, 'That's enough time; you should be healed.'"
Jacquelyn Guyton of West Ashley was mourning her brother, James E. Guyton Jr., who was killed March 12 at age 32. She was wearing a T-shirt with her brother's picture and "Gone But Not Forgotten" on the back. "You don't get a chance to say goodbye," she said. "They take his life, and they take the chance to say goodbye."
Guyton was found lying facedown in a ditch at Chaplins Landing and Creek roads in the Ravenel area. He had been shot multiple times. Fitzgerald "Scrappy" Byas, 24, of Cherry Hill Road, Hollywood, was charged with murder.