Crime & Public Safety

Family of Beaufort area teen fatally shot waits for answers; holds anti-violence 5K

As Malik Spencer’s family waits for answers surrounding the teen’s apparent homicide, they are launching a foundation in hopes it saves other Beaufort County teens from the same fate.

Malik, 18, of Lobeco vanished while on his way to Whale Branch Early College High School a week before Christmas. His body was found shot in Bamberg County on Jan. 22.

There have been no arrests in the case.

Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office Maj. Bob Bromage said Wednesday the case remains under investigation.

“It is so devastating to our family,” La’Shawn Spencer, Malik’s aunt, said Wednesday. “We all have our moments.”

Violence in the community was something easy to ignore before, Spencer said. She said it isn’t anymore.

“These are our children,” Spencer said. “They are our future. Malik is one more youth killed. We need for people to be reminded.”

The Malik Spencer Foundation launches Saturday with a 5K run in Beaufort. The foundation will support college scholarships and programs for at risk youth north of the Broad River, Spencer said.

Spencer said the family wants to see youth in the area focus on activities such as sports or art instead of turning toward violent behavior.

“We have to get resources out there so kids don’t have to be on the streets,”

Malik’s family also continues to warn the community about its silence. Family members have begged the public to come forward with any information since he first disappeared about five months ago.

“We are still rallying for people to come out and give information about what happened to Malik,” Spencer said. “A lot of people are afraid to talk about what they know. It is our family today but it could be yours tomorrow.”

Student’s applying for scholarships through the foundation will have to write a 500 word essay on “Stop the violence, break the silence.”

Malik’s death was widely followed by residents in Beaufort County as the teen was heavily involved in the community. He was active in the youth and music ministries at his church. He also worked at Wendy’s and held a summer job as a counselor at a Beaufort County PALS camp.

“Malik was a great kid,” Spencer said Wednesday. “He had goals and ambitions. He was such a lovable and approachable kid. He was always smiling and friendly.”

The event will be held at 8 a.m. at Washington Street Park, 1003 Washington Street. Children 12 and under cost $15 and adults $25

Vist bit.ly/Malik5K to register online.

For anyone with information about Malik’s death anonymous tips can be made by calling Crimestoppers of the Lowcountry at 843-554-1111. Information also can be shared with Sheriff’s Office investigator Brian Abell at 843-255-3436.

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