“A big ole teddy bear”: Family, friends mourn death of Loris High School student shot and killed

Grand Strand

LORIS, SC (WBTW)   Horry County Police are asking anyone with information related to the shooting death of 18-year-old Martrellyiz Trez Vereen to please come forward.

Vereen, of Loris, was found at about 6:15 p.m. on Monday at Flag Patch Cemetery off of Wayside Road in the Loris area.  He was found face-down beside a vehicle and was shot shortly before being found, according to Chief Deputy Coroner Tamara Willard.  

Horry County police conducted the death investigation overnight and into Tuesday morning, according to Mikayla Moskov, Horry County police spokesperson.

Vereen was a senior at Loris High School set to graduate in June. His family, who lives in Longs, said he always had a smile on his face. 

 Trez was just like a big ole teddy bear. Lovable. That’s the way I describe him, Arvel German said.

Vereen and German were cousins, but she said he called her Grandmama. German watched him grow up and said he loved making people laugh. 

If you sad, in five minutes Trez come you’ll be smiling. That’s cause that’s the type of person he was.

His family said Vereen was in the R.O.T.C. program and wanted to join the military.

He was proud, you know to work toward his goals, and he was working toward his goals, German said.

Vereen worked at McDonald’s and also for a funeral home. But loved ones said the most important work he did was for the Lord. 

Trez loved the Lord, German said. He would get up there and usher, he was an usher in the church.

Vereen was an usher at Freemont Baptist Church in Longs. 

The Horry County Police Department said in a statement it’s their, sincere hope to bring some form of closure to family and friends impacted by this terrible loss.

Anyone with information that may aid in the investigation is asked to call HCPD at 843-915-TIPS (8477) or email crimetips@horrycounty.org.  

If provided through Crime Stoppers of the Lowcountry, tipsters may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to an arrest. For Crime Stoppers, call 1-888-CRIMESC (554-1111).

Extra counselors were at Loris High School Tuesday to help students and staff. The principal of the high school, Richard Crumley, posted a statement on the school’s Facebook page:

Loris High School was made aware of the tragic loss of a student last night. We have received limited details of the death of senior Mar’trellyiz Vereen, and we will continue to respect the privacy of the family and show our support during this difficult time. The death of a student, however, has a ripple effect on the school community; therefore, Loris High School is providing counseling services to any staff or student at the high school who may be adversely affected by this loss.

We are grieving for the loss of a young life and its infinite possibilities; and, we pray for the family, friends, and students most affected by this event.

Count on News13 for updates on this story as they become available.

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