Bond denied for teen in Ashley Ridge High senior's murder

Authorities arrest 17-year-old Anthony Willis Jr.
Authorities arrest 17-year-old Anthony Willis Jr.
Anthony Willis Jr. , right, and Justin Smoot, left.
Anthony Willis Jr. , right, and Justin Smoot, left.

SUMMERVILLE, SC (WCSC) - A 17-year-old Summerville teen was denied bond for the murder of an Ashley Ridge High School senior.

The Dorchester County Sheriff's Office charged 17-year-old Anthony Willis Jr. with the murder of 18-year-old Justin Smoot. Smoot was killed Monday after a shooting outside an apartment on Trolley Road in Summerville.

According to an incident report, Dorchester County sheriff's deputies responded to Muir Court in reference to gun shots and a man lying in the street. Upon arrival, Smoot was found in the street, semi conscience, suffering from gunshot wounds.

A witness told investigators that Willis and Smoot had a confrontation in the Churchill Commons Apartments parking lot prior to the shooting. The witness said that Willis then retrieved a rifle and fired a shot at Smoot and missed. Smoot then fled to Muir Court where he was pursued and shot by Willis, according to deputies. Willis then fled back to the area of his residence in Churchill Commons.

After a description of the shooter was broadcast to local law enforcement agencies, Summerville police located and detained Willis until deputies arrived. Willis was held on drug possession charges while deputies continued their investigation into the shooting.

K-9 units from the Dorchester County Sheriff's Office were able to track Willis in the route he fled from where the shooting took place and recovered a rifle that is believed to have been used in the shooting, a police report states.

When deputies arrived on scene, several people were around Smoot, trying to stop the bleeding. Smoot later died during surgery at Trident Medical Center around 7:30 p.m. from a gunshot wound to the chest. Deputies say that before Smoot died, he nodded to authorities, indicating that he knew who shot him.

The Dorchester County Corner's Office said Tuesday that Smoot died from hypovolemic shock due to a lacerated lung from the gunshot wound to his chest.

Dorchester District school officials say that Smoot was weeks away from graduating from Ashley Ridge High School. School officials say guidance counselors have been made available to talk to students at the school.

Copyright WCSC 2011. All rights reserved.