Friends remember Coastal Carolina University student as search continues for his killer

akelley@thesunnews.com, troot@thesunnews.comFebruary 28, 2013 

— Anthony Liddell was a kind-hearted good person who laughed a lot, according to friends who spoke of him at a candlelight vigil at Coastal Carolina University Thursday night.

More than 100 people filled the courtyard inside the Robin W. and Thomas W. Edwards College of Humanities and Fine Arts building for the vigil honoring the CCU sophomore who was fatally shot Tuesday. The turnout wasn’t surprising to Cevquan King, who has known Liddell since childhood and made the trip from Bennettsville with about 10 others.

“He’s definitely kind, he’s one of the nicest people you could ever meet,” King said. “You can see he affected people that don’t even know him.”

O’Kealy Douglas also grew up with Liddell. They all called him “Ant.”

“The guy that was killed was like my brother,” he said. “I don’t want him to be remembered as hoodlum … I just want everybody to know he was a good guy.”

While the campus grieved and remembered Liddell, law enforcement continued their investigation of the shooting death of the 19-year-old outside a housing complex owned by the university.

On Thursday, Horry County officials released the 911 telephone calls made after Liddell was shot about 7:20 p.m. Tuesday.

In the calls, multiple students called 911 dispatchers saying they heard gunshots and then saw “a guy laying on the ground outside University Place apartments.” None of the callers reported seeing the shooting.

People tried to put Liddell into a vehicle, the callers said, but then decided to wait for EMS. One caller reported that Liddell was breathing, his eyes were open and he was conscious.

There was some confusion in the 911 calls over whether Liddell had been shot in the stomach or back, and about the color of the vehicle that was seen driving away from the parking lot following the shooting. Bystanders used a shirt to apply pressure to Liddell’s wound until EMS arrived.

Liddell was taken to Grand Strand Regional Medical Center where he was pronounced dead at 8:30 p.m. from at least one gunshot wound to the chest that caused massive bleeding, Horry County Deputy Coroner Darris Fowler said.

Agents with the State Law Enforcement Division continued to investigate the fatal shooting Thursday, but Thom Berry, spokesman, said no new details were available for release.

“We are developing leads and we are making progress,” Berry said Thursday afternoon.

It was unclear if police had identified a suspect in the shooting. While 15th Circuit Solicitor Jimmy Richardson said the investigation was moving forward, police were not ready to name any one as a suspect in the shooting.

“Coastal Carolina continues to work with SLED and the Horry County Solicitor’s office,” Richardson said. “We have made a lot of progress but are not ready to name the suspect right now.”

Douglas hopes officials make an arrest soon.

“I just want justice for my brother,” he said. “I don’t want anyone [else] dead or nothing like that. I just want justice.

Liddell was a sophomore from Bennettsville who was majoring in sports medicine and hoped to become a physical therapist, according to his family. He was a 2011 graduate of Marlboro County High School and was a football player there for two years before he graduated with honors.

Charlie Hughes was Liddell’s freshman roommate and said any talk about Liddell being anything less than a great person is not true.

“This man was raised the right way,” he said. “He always smiled. Whenever last year I got down and I didn’t want to come out of my room Ant was always the one to bang on my door, make stupid jokes, just something to get me to smile.”

Contact AMANDA KELLEY at 626-081 or TONYA ROOT at 444-1723.

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