Victims of Myrtle Beach double homicide identified

The victims of Myrtle Beach’s two most recent homicides have been identified, officials said.

The Horry County Coroner’s Office has identified the victims of Thursday night’s double homicide as Ja’Leel Stephens, 19, and Kanon Cook Melvin, 21. Stephens and Melvin were both from Fayetteville, N.C., according to Chief Deputy Coroner Tamara Willard.

Stephens and Melvin were fatally shot about 8:15 p.m. at Willoughby Lane, which is near the intersection of 44th Avenue and Robert Grissom Parkway, said Cpl. Tom Vest with the Myrtle Beach Police Department.

When police arrived, they found Stephens and Melvin had been shot and were suffering from severe injuries.

About 11 p.m., Vest said that the two had died from their injuries.

There do not appear to have been any arrests made in connection with the shooting as of noon Friday.

Myrtle Beach police continue to investigate the homicides. Police have not released any details regarding the circumstances of the shooting, but said more information will be available soon.

Jenna Farhat is a reporter covering the South Strand. She has served as the managing editor and the news editor of The Sunflower, an independent, student-run newspaper covering Wichita State University. During her time there, she won several Kansas Collegiate Media awards for her investigative reporting and for feature writing. While she served as managing editor, The Sunflower won awards from the Associated College Press and the Kansas Sunshine Coalition for Open Government. She has been with The Sun News since 2020. She was born in Ohio and grew up in Wichita, Kansas. She is fluent in Arabic.

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