A University of South Carolina Upstate student who was gunned down just weeks before graduation will be granted a posthumous degree at spring commencement.
Evan Gaines, 22, died March 26 after being found with gunshot wounds at an off-campus apartment complex, officials said. The senior business major from Columbia was expected to graduate in May.
USC Upstate has been in touch with Gaines’ family and will honor him with a posthumous degree at spring commencement exercises on May 7, university spokeswoman Jessica Blais told The State on Wednesday.
Gaines was raised in Columbia and graduated from W.J. Keenan High School. Friends and former teachers have recalled his friendly demeanor and passion for fashion and education. His girlfriend said in a Facebook post that they had plans to get married and have kids — even picking out names for their babies, The State reported last month.
“You don’t get too many real brothers in life. With you, I had one,” Roderick Jones, a close friend of Gaines, wrote in another Facebook post. “Smallest one of the crew but I swear you had the biggest heart ... You will forever be with me in everything I do. I love you dearly, brother.”
No arrests have been made in Gaines’ killing, and Spartanburg County sheriff’s deputies have released few details, including whether Gaines was shot at the complex where he was found or somewhere else.
His killing came days before USC senior Samantha Josephson was abducted from the Five Points area and later found dead. An arrest has been made in her case, and USC said Tuesday that it will honor her with a posthumous degree at graduation in May.
Blais said USC Upstate also will award a posthumous degree next month to Jordane Bouchillon of Greenville, a senior who was killed in a car accident in the fall. She was a graduate of Eastside High Schooland had earned an associate degree from Spartanburg Methodist College.