A rising teen writer was fatally shot at a home in Lexington, Kentucky. As People reports, Carl Garner Jr. suffered a fatal gunshot wound and was pronounced dead at the hospital. The 19-year-old had garnered national attention for his essay that was featured on a popular comedy podcast.
Garner came to national prominence in January 2016 when his essay debating whether a hot dog is a sandwich was featured on the national comedy podcast Judge John Hodgman. Hodgman took that idea and debated whether a hot dog is a sandwich on CBS’s The Late Show with Steven Colbert in Dec. 2017. That debate was picked up by even gourmand sites like Food and Wine.
As the Lexington Herald reports, Garner was a student at Lexington Day Treatment Center. “It’s been a tough couple of days. Carl was real special to me and I’ve had a hard time with him going,” said Eric Little, his teacher and the person who brought the essay to Hodgman's attention. “He was a kid I really hoped would make it. He got encouragement. He got support,” said Little. “He had integrity that a lot of kids don’t have at that age. He could be very kind. He stepped up when it was necessary.”
“This is very very sad,” Hodgman said on Twitter. He described the incident as “devastating.”
After the shooting, Garner was discovered by a family member. It is not clear if Garner was shot inside or outside the home and who fired the weapon.
LEX 18 reports that the gunfire may have come from outside based upon accounts by Garner's sisters. Saniqua and Vivian said that gunfire near the home troubled the victim that night. He reportedly sent his girlfriend and cousin home for their own protection after they heard a first round of gunfire. They said that the victim was inside the home alone when a second round of bullets came into the home.
Garner hoped to become a mechanic.
Portions of his essay are published in a 2016 story by the Lexington Herald:
“A sandwich is two pieces of bread,” he writes. “In between those pieces of bread might be some mayonnaise, some tomatoes, some lettuce, and some baloney. It’s like someone trying to say that you’re making a baloney sandwich without lettuce and mayo. It would still be a sandwich because that’s what it’s been called for years and years. We can’t change history.”