24-year-old killed in N. Kings Hwy Cookout shooting is remembered by friends


MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – A Tabor City victim killed in an overnight shooting on Friday is remembered by his friends and family this weekend.

Twenty-four-year old, Albert “AJ” Soles, Jr., was shot at the Cookout off North Kings Highway in Myrtle Beach around 1 a.m. Friday and died at Grand Strand Medical Center. Friends had plans with Soles this weekend, but instead, they’re remembering and grieving the loss of a close friend.

When friends and family hear the name, AJ Soles…

“Everyone knows him… everyone loved him…” Kaylie Youmans, a friend of AJ Soles, said.

“He was loyal…” Ashley Azzarella, another friend, said.

His friends say Soles was the kind of friend anyone would be lucky to have.

“He would give me anything, and take the shirt off his back for me,” Youmans said.

AJ Soles was a son, brother, and unforgettable friend. His friends say he was shot while trying to stop an argument in the Cookout parking lot early Friday morning. That’s when he and another victim were shot.

“I found out, and I was just shocked everyone was upset everyone was crying their eyes out,” Azzarella said.

“It was so heartbreaking his family loved him so much, and just to hear them so upset and heartbroken. It was awful,” Youmans said.

All that’s left with Sole’s friends are memories of their final moments with him.

“I remember we went to the river, and we all sat there, and we were all swimming, and he was in his overalls and straw hat,” Youmans said.

Friends say the river was one of AJ Soles’s favorite places. They spent the night following his death at his favorite river while sharing memories.

“It felt like he was there, he was supposed to be there,” Youmans said.

His friends said they’ll always remember him as dependable and willing to sticking up for anyone.

“He didn’t even have to know a person if someone is being bullied or messed with, he’d be there. That’s how he passed away was defending somebody,” Azzarella said.

“That was just kind of his personality was just to fend for somebody else,” Youmans said.

On Saturday, friends hold onto their memories of AJ, and the treasures.

“Into a week of knowing him, he gave me this chain,” Azzarella said.

Azzarella said the chain was special before. Now, it has even more meaning.

“And I don’t think I’m ever going to take it off,” Azzarella said.

A memorial ride from Tabor City to Myrtle Beach will take place Saturday evening. AJ Soles’s funeral service will be on Monday afternoon at 11:00 a.m. at the Worthington Funeral Home.

According to friends of both shooting victims, the second victim remains in the hospital with critical conditions.

Myrtle Beach Police Department has charged Niko Juwan Williams of Murrells Inlet with murder, attempted murder, and possession of a weapon during a violent crime.

Count on News13 for updates.

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