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      Balloons released in memory of a Charlotte man gunned down in Bennettsville

      Family and friends gathered at Lake Paul Wallace in Bennettsville Sunday and released dozens of balloons in memory of Gregory Pete Purvis.

      He was shot and killed on North Everette Street in Bennettsville last month.

      Purvis lived in Charlotte, but grew up in Bennettsville.

      He was in town visiting relatives when he was murdered.

      Purvis' wife organized the balloon release in celebration of what would have been her husband's 43rd birthday.

      "Today is an awesome day. He turns 43 today and today was a just a special day and it meant a lot to me to have so many close friends take the time out their day to come and celebrate with us, " said Sonya Purvis.

      Purvis says her husband was a loving man who adored his family. She says he worked hard and loved life. The couple celebrated their 10 year wedding anniversary a few weeks before Purvis was killed.

      "Greg was about having a good time and celebrating. And wanting to enjoy himself and just enjoy life. So, today doing the balloon release and with the turnout we had, it was just an awesome day. It made me feel good. Made my daughter feel good. And it wasn't a sad day for me. It was actually a wonderful day," explained Purvis.

      Keith Hicks has been charged with murder in Purvis' death.

      He is being held at the Marlboro County Detention Center.

      Hicks will go before a judge November 4 for a bond hearing.