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Body of slain airman returned to grieving Wilson community

Denver police are still searching for clues to help them catch the man they say is responsible for fatally shooting a 19-year-old airman from Wilson outside a club Sunday.

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WILSON, N.C. — Friends, family and neighbors lined the streets of a Wilson neighborhood Thursday night to welcome home the body of a slain 19-year-old airman.

Shaquille Hargrove and another airman were shot when a fight erupted outside a club in Denver, Colo., on Sunday. Hargrove died at the hospital, and the other man was treated and released.

Police have not made any arrests in the shootings, but released a sketch Tuesday of a possible suspect.  

The community where Hargrove grew up was grieving Thursday as it prepared to lay him to rest.

"He's been a good kid since he was little. I had high hopes for him," said neighbor Pam Boykin. "It's just a shame that his life ended this soon."

"I just have to come show my support for the family," said friend Jakheya Hagans. "He was a good person. We went to school together. He was in JROTC."

The desire to serve his country, cultivated at a young age when he joined JROTC, led him to the U.S. Air Force. Hargrove was an Airman 1st Class stationed at Buckley Air Force Base in Aurora, Colo., as a 2nd Space Warning Squadron satellite systems operator. He graduated from Wilson Fike High School in 2011.

He died one month before his 20th birthday.

"I wish I had been there that night to take that bullet for him," said Dustin Edwards, one of Hargrove's closest friends. "That man would do anything for anybody, no matter what. Everybody out here knew that, and that's why everybody is out here."

Hargrove's family will hold a remembrance service for him Saturday at 12 p.m. at L.N. Forbes Original Free Will Baptist Tabernacle in Wilson. A public visitation will be held Friday from 5 to 8 p.m. at Feel Free Church Ministries, at 3543 U.S. Highway 301 in Wilson.


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