Sumter County Sheriff's Office, in partnership with Sumter Crime Stoppers, is offering a $5,000 reward in the investigation of the killing of Jarvis Omar Rush, who was found dead on Saturday morning.
The agency made the announcement on Thursday …
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The agency made the announcement on Thursday afternoon during a news conference in its multi-media room surrounded by members of the news media, sheriff's office employees and about 15 of Rush's family members.
Rush's parents and seven siblings sat at the front of the room to the right of the podium.
The other family members filled the seats in the conference room, silently listening to the speakers, including the family's pastor, Sylvester Francis.
"Unite with us to find who did this," Francis said.
Rush, 34, was found in a grassy lot beside a church on East Newberry Road about one mile from his residence on West Patricia Drive about 10:30 a.m.
It appeared he was shot multiple times, according to Sumter County Sheriff's Office.
Dispatch did not receive calls about shots fired in the Newberry Avenue area the night Rush was killed, said Ken Bell, sheriff's office public information officer.
However, the next day a call came in about a man who appeared to be unconscious lying on the ground, he said.
Rush was an easygoing and humble soul, Francis said.
He was a hardworking person and was one of the quietest members of the family, Francis said.
A small piece of information could bring justice, Francis said, so come forward not just for the reward, but also to bring peace to the community because it belongs to everyone, he said.
Sgt. Wayne DuBose, a sheriff's office investigator, said he used to work security at the same grocery store where Rush worked.
The investigator said he was shocked to hear of Rush's death.
"I haven't found anyone who said a bad word about him," he said.
Rush had at least one child, according to DuBose, though he did not know the child's age.
Sheriff Anthony Dennis also confirmed that Rush is his wife's cousin, Bell said.
This was an unanswerable and senseless killing, Chief Deputy Hampton Gardner said.
So far, investigators have confirmed that Rush went home to change his clothes after leaving work Friday night before going to a McDonald's restaurant in the area, he said.
Investigators are still trying to determine the details of what led to Rush's death.
On the reward poster, Rush is seen wearing a necklace with an image of the last supper on it.
"We all know what that was commemorative of," Gardner said.
Rush's family will hold a candlelight vigil at 6 p.m. today on East Newberry Avenue.
Crime Stoppers offers a maximum of $2,500 as a reward for information that helps with an arrest or conviction, Bell said, and the sheriff's office is providing the other half. This is the first time, to Bell's knowledge, that the sheriff's office has offered a reward of this size.
Anyone with information is asked to call Sumter County Sheriff's Office Investigative Division at (803) 436-2002 or provide information anonymously by calling Crime Stoppers at (803) 436-2718 or 1-888-274-6372.
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