Murder and Heartbreak in Tennessee
Mark “Markus” McCord, Jr. was only twenty-one…
He and my first granddaughter, Katlyn, had big plans for a future together.
Markus was murdered yesterday, at approximately 1:15 p.m. by four gang-bangers, ending his life, all his dreams and his life’s journey and all the potential he showed in his daily life, all the possibilities and the wonderful things we all knew he was capable of accomplishing.
When my daughter called me soon after, I answered as I always do, unaware of what had just happened and asked how things were going. The strain and the soft trembling of her voice told me something terribly serious was underway, as the first words came slowly and she said:
“Markus was … [long pause] … Markus was shot … [longer pause and soft sobbing] … and he passed away.”
Shock. Anger. Grief. It hit me all at once, like slamming into a stone wall, and all I could say at first was “damn, Damn, DAMN – Oh my God”. I was angry and hurt to hear of the way Markus was taken from his loved ones far sooner than anyone ever thought he would have been, and hearing the hurt and pain in my daughter’s voice pained me to no end, as all parents out there can understand.
Tears rolled down my cheeks.
Over the years, I had come to love Markus like family, just as I know my daughter had too, and it was gut-wrenching to know that so terrible a thing had been visited upon the family.
It’s impossible to fully comprehend the enormous pain of losing one’s child, until it happens to you. As much as this pained and grieved our family, it’s hard to imagine the grief that Markus’s parents, Mark and Jennifer McCord, are feeling right now, as we pray God may ease the heartache so many of us feel right now, due to this senseless act of violence.
And my poor little granddaughter is simply heartbroken; but she’s handling it like the strong young woman of faith, she was raised to be. I hurt for her, knowing that something so tragic as the murder of someone you love is something that stays with you the rest of your life, no matter how well you learn to cope with it.
Two families have had their lives upended and are sorely hurting right now.
It’s a terrible tragedy for anyone, when death hits one’s own home and we lose a loved one by way of something other than natural causes, but when it’s murder most foul and heinous, carried out by monsters in a casual and callous manner, everything one feels is magnified tenfold.
Since this happened, the many conversations I had with Markus have come flooding back like an old newsreel and I think of the times he mentioned his goals for his life. His father is a fireman with the Nashville Metropolitan Fire Department, and Markus too had spoken of trying to go in that direction. He was still finding his way, and he was pondering several other options for his life too, as young men are want to do, but these monsters took his life and all his dreams with it. And all for nothing.
It doesn’t matter what motivated them to break into the house on the 100 block of Cole Court on February 8th 2023, but whether it was just pure impatient greed and the envy of what others have or the need for their next drug fix, they didn’t have to kill this young man. And yet they did; as he attempted to flee for his life, these evil, low-life, scum-of-the-earth, rotten soulless, thug bastards shot him in the back multiple times, in cold-blood and a manner only soulless sociopaths and psychopaths devoid of any remaining conscience and humanity can commit, without feeling, remorse or regret.
As I looked at the police mugshots of three of the murders, the cold, blank stares made it readily apparent that the only thing they regret is getting caught. One of their gang remains on the run at this writing.
There are some things in this world that are more important than anyone’s own selfish wants and desires. It’s just too damn bad that far too many on the streets, with their godless gang mentality, don’t believe this. It’s too damn bad that so many are so willing to harm or even kill another for a few meager dollars that they’ll blow on their toys, clothes and drugs in a matter of a few days, taking one innocent life after another.
Anyone and everyone ever effected by the vile act of murder has demanded at one time or another for these type of people to be removed from our society. Some people are beyond redemption and should be put down like a rabid dog, especially when they’ve brought so much pain and mental anguish and suffering to so many in the community.
Hendersonville Police Officers answered the call on “shots fired” around 1:22 p.m., and upon arriving, they found Markus in the front yard and still clinging to life, even though he had sustained multiple gunshot wounds. He died a short time later at Hendersonville Medical Center. I can only hope and pray that the Good Lord removed his fear and pain, as I consider the initial horrific, agonizing pain he was made to suffer and the moment the realization set into his mind that he had reached the end.
Too many in this world have far too little respect for anyone’s life, no sympathy, no compassion, no love in their hearts – only pure cold hatred and a desire to spread pain, hurt and death wherever they go, taking what they want whenever they want, until someone acting as God’s Right Hand exacts vengeance upon them and puts them in the ground in kind.
Fortunately, District Attorney Glenn Funk has a strong record of convicting violent criminals such as these monsters.
God forgives. I don’t – My Blood Runs Cold!
I think of Markus on the gurney in the emergency room alone except for emergency personnel, bleeding out and knowing he was dying, as his last thoughts could well have been flashes of all those he loved, and my blood runs cold, I taste ashes and blood in my mouth and flashes burning like hot steel cross behind my eyes. And I know without a shadow of a doubt that I would gladly give his murderers the lethal injection to end their lives or pull the lever myself to send a hundred thousand volts of electricity through them.
In my family, we always tell each other “I love You” whenever we see one another, whenever we leave from a visit or whenever we end a phone conversation, just for this very reason. No matter if Your child is three or thirty, give them a hug and a kiss right now, because this old world has turned so ugly, it’s hard to tell anymore when it will be the last hug, kiss or conversation.
Friends of the family currently have a GoFundMe account set up to help with funeral expenses. This is the legitimate link for anyone interested.
Thank you for hearing me out, if you’ve read this in its entirety. Please keep the family in your prayers.
February 10, 2023
~ The Author ~
Justin O. Smith has lived in Tennessee off and on most of his adult life, and graduated from Middle Tennessee State University in 1980, with a B.S. and a double major in International Relations and Cultural Geography – minors in Military Science and English, for what its worth. His real education started from that point on. Smith is a frequent contributor to the family of Kettle Moraine Publications.