Standout Capital HS athlete killed in Charleston shooting

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A community is mourning after the shooting death of Capital High School student KJ Taylor.

Charleston Police said Taylor, 18, was shot in the chest at around 8 p.m. Wednesday in the 800 block of Central Avenue on the city’s West Side. He was pronounced dead a short time later.

Police continue their investigation. No arrests have been made.

Taylor was a key contributor on the Capital football team, previously played basketball for the Cougars, and was set to graduate high school next month.

As a junior in 2019, Taylor was named a first-team selection to the All-Mountain State Athletic Conference squad. Taylor played receiver and defensive back on the Cougars’ 11-2 team in 2018 that advanced to the Class AAA state semifinals and the state quarterfinalist team a year later.

In 2019, Taylor caught 32 passes for 427 yards and 4 touchdowns in the regular season.

Charleston Police Chief Tyke Hunt said the investigation into the death continues.

“I do ask that our community come together and show our support for the Taylor family and for anyone who was a friend of KJ,” Hunt said in a Thursday monring news conference.

Hunt said officers were on the scene and rendered aid before the call was dispatched. Officers were patrolling the area.

“Unfortunately we were unable to save the life of KJ,” Hunt said.

Kanawha County Schools sent crisis teams Thursday to Capital High, West Side Middle School and Mary C. Snow/West Side Elementary School.

The House of Delegates began Thursday’s floor session with a moment of silence for Taylor.

Friends, teammates, and even opposing teams and coaches have shared heartache and grief on social media over the loss.


Charleston Police are expected to release more on his death today.

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