HOLLY HILL, SC (WCSC) - Relatives of the first shooting victim officers responding to a home in Holly Hill discovered said they just couldn't imagine his life would end this way.
Jerome Butler, 50, was found outside a home in the 7,000 block of Old State Road when deputies arrived at 7:03 a.m. Wednesday, Orangeburg County Sheriff Leroy Ravenell said. The bodies of Krystal Hutto, 28; and two teens, Shamekia Sanders, 17; and Tamara Perry, 14; were found inside the home, along with an 8-year-old boy who was wounded and still alive, he said.
His family says Butler spent his entire life in Holly Hill and worked many years at a tire shop in town. His relatives said Butler was loyal to his family above all.
"Whenever he saw his nieces or nephews, he would just give us dollars or just like he gave everyone nicknames," niece Swanza Butler said. "My little brother, his nickname was 'Knucklehead,' and I mean he was really just a very kind person."
"Well he was an outgoing person, and he loved everybody, and like I say I never known he had any problem with getting into violence," brother-in-law Michael High said.
Butler's friends say news of his death left them heartbroken.
"Of course when I found out it was him, it was real hard for me because he was a nice guy and basically I really was in shock," friend Petronia Williams said.
Authorities have not elaborated on any possible connection between Butler and the other victims and are continuing to search for answers in the shooting.
The eight-year-old boy remains in critical condition at an undisclosed hospital, according to Orangeburg County Sheriff's spokesman Richard Walker.
Anyone who has information on the incident or anyone involved is asked to call the Orangeburg County Sheriff's Office at (803) 534-3550 or Crime Stoppers at (888) CRIME-SC.