ORANGEBURG COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - Investigators are continuing the search for a suspect or suspects in the shooting that left two adults and two children dead and a third child wounded in Holly Hill.
"We believe this is an isolated incident... so we don't have anybody out there committing crimes, I hope," Orangeburg County Sheriff Leroy Ravenell said. Ravenell said investigators were following "some good leads" in the case.
The four victims have been identified as Jerome Butler, 50; Krystal Hutto, 28; Shamekia Sanders, 17; and Tamara Perry, 14; all of whom died at the scene, according to Orangeburg County Coroner Samuetta Marshall. Butler's identity was released hours after those of the other victims because it took authorities longer to notify his family.
Ravenell said dispatchers received a call about an incident at the home in the 7,000 block of Old State Road at 6:48 a.m. and deputies arrived at 7:03 a.m. They found Butler in front yard of the home already dead, he said. Hutto's body was found in one bedroom and the two teens were found in another bedroom.
A fifth victim, an 8-year-old boy who was found alive but injured was airlifted to MUSC, Ravenell said. There has been no word on the boy's condition.
Ravenell said they all appeared to have died from gunshot wounds. Autopsies will be performed in Newberry to confirm the causes of death on Thursday, Marshall said. She confirmed that all of the victims were shot, but would not elaborate on the number of wounds.
Ravenell also said a car investigators were looking for, a green 1990s model Mercedes, was found burned approximately 15 miles away from the crime scene in the Vance area.
"The car had been seen there on many occasions," Ravenell said, though the exact relationship between the car and anyone connected to the house remains unclear.
The relationships between the victims is also unclear at this point, he said.
The Holly Hill Police Department, The Orangeburg County Sheriff's Office and agents from the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division are on the scene. Ravenell said Berkeley and Charleston Counties have also assisted.
News of the spread quickly across the Orangeburg County town of about 1,300 people.
Authorities say the home where the shooting happened is only about a four minute drive from town hall.
Friends and family have been gathering outside the command post where the Orangeburg County Sheriff's Office and Holly Hill Police Department have been investigating the deadly incident, looking for the same answers investigators are seeking.
A group of people who arrived shortly after 12:30 p.m. were reduced to tears and sobs moments after speaking to officers at the scene. Many who knew the victims across Holly Hill were at a loss for words.
A teacher who said she taught the two teenagers said they were a joy to have in her classroom. A former classmate of Hutto described her as a good person all around.
Holly Hill residents echoed the sentiment that this sort of thing doesn't happen there and say they are praying for everyone involved.
Anyone with information about the incident or a vehicle similar to the one described should contact Crime Stoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC.