A shooting Friday at Harmony Court apartments that left two maintenance workers with lifelong injuries was the result of a plan to frame an associate of the assailant, according to a news release from Sumter Police Department.
Former Sumter High School Gamecocks basketball player Andrew Jeremiah Tiller, 18, of 2665 Goldeneye Ridge, was charged Monday after admitting he shot the two workers as part of an armed robbery scheme in order to frame a man in retaliation for something he did to him.
The teenager is charged with two counts of attempted murder, two counts of attempted armed robbery and possession of a weapon during a violent crime.
Tiller averaged 5.1 points and 1.3 assists per game as part of a 10-player rotation for Sumter, which went 18-7 and won the Region VI-5A title. He had signed to play collegiately with Allen University in Columbia.
Released Tuesday from Sumter-Lee Regional Detention Center on a $37,500 surety bond set by a local magistrate, Tiller is required to wear an ankle monitor during his release.
According to reports, Tiller tried unsuccessfully to lure a local peddler near Harmony Court before driving a short distance to the apartment complex. Two maintenance men there were outside reviewing their work orders at about 11 a.m. Friday when a dark Dodge Charger pulled up in the parking lot. A masked man got out of the vehicle, demanded money and began firing a handgun before the victims were able to respond.
Officers were later able to locate the vehicle and link the suspect to the shooting.
Philip Barwick, 56, of Sumter County, who suffered a gunshot wound to the upper body that is considered inoperable after a bullet lodged near his spine, was released from a Columbia hospital during the weekend.
Nelson Torres, 51, also of Sumter County, remains in a Columbia-area hospital and is expected to be released soon after suffering a gunshot wound which left a bullet fragment near his heart.
Barwick and Torres are described as hard workers and are well liked in the Harmony Court community. Neither of them had any involvement with Tiller or the man he intended to frame, according to the report.