SC man killed in Mexico eulogized as soft-spoken, strong in his beliefs

One of the South Carolina residents who was killed by members of a drug cartel in Mexico was described during a funeral service in Lake City Saturday as someone strong in personality, strong in beliefs, soft-spoken yet when he had something to say he made himself heard.

Shaeed Woodard, 33, died in Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Mexico, after he and three longtime friends were kidnapped March 3 by men later identified by the Gulf drug cartel as members who went rogue on innocent Americans.

Woodard’s homegoing was held at Good News Deliverance Temple Church in Lake City, where several speakers talked about the need to rely on God during trying circumstances and not become bitter amid such a heartbreaking situation.

Shaeed Woodard died in Mexico after he and three friends were ambushed by members of a drug cartel.
Shaeed Woodard died in Mexico after he and three friends were ambushed by members of a drug cartel.

A cousin, Nisheeka Simmons, said Woodard was beloved by all who cared to know him.

“Our family is tight knit,” she said.

The Rev. Talbert Burgess said no one can say what God will do, but Woodard gave his life to Christ “so there’s hope.”

Burgess said Woodard’s service was the hardest he had ever preached, harder than the time he was the only Black man preaching to 500 white people.

Woodard as a boy began all his sentences with “Hmm” and loved Honey Buns. He was goaded by his brothers, but they left him alone when he got mad.

“Brother Shaeed went to Mexico and God called him home,” he said. “You don’t know when God is going to call your name.”

Also killed in the ambush was Zindell Brown. Eric Willliams was shot in the legs and survived and LaTavia Washington McGee of Myrtle Beach was unharmed physically.

The four friends knew each other from childhood in Lake City, and were traveling together so McGee could have cosmetic surgery, where she had been treated before.

They were found in a dilapidated house outside Matamoros March 7, four days after they were kidnapped.

A Mexican woman, described as a church worker, was shot and killed as she stood on the sidewalk during the confrontation.

No firm details have been released on why the foursome was targeted. One report said they were caught in the crossfire of rival drug cartels. Another that they were mistaken for Haitian drug smugglers.