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17-year-old boy arrested for killing Marcus Key in Fourth of July Park, police say

Marcus Lee Key was found dead with a gunshot to his head in November.

KERNERSVILLE, N.C. — A 17-year-old boy was arrested Thursday in connection with the deadly shooting of a 14-year-old at Fourth of July Park in Kernersville. 

The boy is facing second-degree murder charges for the death of Marcus Key.

On Nov. 17, around 6:30 p.m., officers found Key at the park shot in his head, according to Kernersville police. Officers said when they got there, Marcus was already dead. 

It's not clear if the boys knew each other or whether police know a motive for the shooting. Right now, the suspect is being charged as a juvenile, which is why his name has not been released. 

Key is one of seven children in his family. His mother said one second their family was spending time together, and the next, her son was gone.

"This is going to be my first Christmas, my first Thanksgiving without him," Key's mother Julia Gwyn said in an interview with WFMY News 2 after the shooting happened.

Key and his siblings attended New Birth Baptist Church in Walnut Cove from a young age. Pastor Dwayne Young said the pandemic kept them from in-person worship but the teen always watched virtual service.