Anyone with information should call the police department at (803) 436-2700 or Crime Stoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC or submit a top at www.P3tips.com.
After law enforcement responded to a double homicide on Wednesday that was the result of a recent uptick in gang-related activity, The Sumter Item took a look at the 11 homicides investigated by the Sumter County Coroner's Office so far in 2019, including nine since July. Here is a summary of events:
Raphel Heywood Bostic, 29, of Columbia: He was found dead on Feb. 16 after railway workers discovered his body down an embankment from railroad tracks at Cook and South streets in the city. His family had reported him missing earlier that week. Matthew Tyrell Simmons, 27, of Sumter, was arrested by U.S. Marshals in Dallas, Texas. He had been wanted for questioning in Bostic's death and on assault charges stemming from an unrelated incident in Sumter. Upon his arrest, he was charged with first-degree assault and battery for the separate charge and murder in the Bostic case. Bostic's family had told investigators the two men were friends.
Ny'Quan Jamel Samuels, 19, of Sumter: City police found him with a gunshot wound to his abdomen on South Lafayette Drive on May 30. He was airlifted to Prisma Health Richland, where he died later that day. Police determined the shooting to be accidental and charged 17-year-old Darius Therald Funchess-McClam, of Sumter, with involuntary manslaughter and unlawful possession of a firearm by a minor after he turned himself in the day after the incident.
Aaron Lewis, 22, of Bishopville: Found dead in his vehicle in Rembert on July 12 of an apparent gunshot wound. His vehicle was found along Huggins Road near the border of Sumter and Lee counties. Ya'Vaundre Mi'Onte Richardson, 18, of Rembert, was charged with murder, armed robbery and possession of a weapon during a violent crime.
Diego Alonzo Teletor, 25, and Gregorio Zarate Chun, 46, both of Sumter: Both men were found shot outside a home on Bowman Drive in the city on July 25. Teletor was pronounced dead at the scene, and Chun died at Prisma Health Tuomey Hospital. Witnesses told police the victims and others were standing outside when three men approached them, pulled out handguns and began firing. A preliminary investigation indicated the incident was connected to two separate armed robbery calls in the area and that a group of people targeted Hispanic men. Teletor and Chun were both from Guatemala. Kelvin Bell, 33, and De'Quan Maurice Stevens, 17, both of Sumter, were charged with two counts of murder at the beginning of August.
Sharee Bradley, 29, and Nevaeh Adams, 5, both of Sumter: Bradley's body was found by a family member on Aug. 5 inside her Lantana Apartments home. After an extensive search by law enforcement and the community that included investigators sifting through 230 tons of garbage at two county landfills, her daughter's body has not been found. Daunte Maurice Johnson, 28, was charged with two counts of murder, two counts of possession of a weapon during a violent crime and one count of possession of a stolen vehicle. He reportedly told city police he killed both mother and child and disposed of the girl in a Dumpster at the apartment complex. Arrest warrants say blood collected at the scene was confirmed through SLED analysis to belong to both victims. Johnson is considered transient and was wanted in Missouri in connection to the homicide of the woman who owned the vehicle he was found with in Sumter.
Gregory Middleton, 30, and Michael Rogers, 30, both of Sumter: An altercation between rival gangs led to gunfire at the Hop In/Sunoco gas station in the city on Sept. 8, claiming the lives of the two 30-year-olds and injuring at least three others. Middleton was pronounced dead at the scene and Rogers later at the hospital. Diontrae Epps, 26, of Sumter, was one of the three injured and was charged with murder, unlawful carry of a firearm and possession of a weapon during a violent crime upon his release from the hospital. Five other men associated with the gangs who were at the scene have been arrested so far on outstanding warrants for separate crimes, including Ellquin Williams, 18, Devante Wilson, 21, Risheen Rich, 29, Perry Vanburen, 25, and Kendall Dow, 22, all of Sumter. Police are continuing to search for 27-year-old Keyonte Markees McGee. Anyone with information should call the police department at (803) 436-2700 or Crime Stoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC or submit a tip at www.P3tips.com.
Christopher Thompson, 19, and Michael Sigler, 22, both of Sumter: The two men were walking on Cherryvale Drive at about 1 a.m. on Sept. 18 when a dark-colored vehicle drove by and opened fire on them. First responders found Thompson dead at the scene. Sigler had surgery at Prisma Health in Sumter then was flown to Richland, where he succumbed to his injuries. The sheriff's office is investigating and asked SLED's Gang Task Force to assist in this and other recent gang-related shootings.
NOTABLE NON-FATAL SHOOTINGS
Two 25-year-old cousins reportedly got into an altercation with two adults at the American Mobile Home Plaza off Broad Street in Cherryvale on Aug. 16, leading to the two adults and a 7-year-old girl, all of the same family, being shot. They were taken to the hospital in serious or critical condition. A fourth family member, a 6-year-old boy, was not injured. Kwodel Johnson, of Sumter, was arrested on Aug. 20 in Orangeburg, and Nikeen Johnson, of Columbia, was apprehended by U.S. Marshals in New York City on Sept. 12. They both were charged with four counts of attempted murder.
Two men who were at the scene of the Sept. 8 Sunoco gas station shooting were also at the scene of a non-fatal shooting on Sept. 12 in the Robney Drive area, according to the city police department. One person was injured, and Crosswell Drive Elementary School was put on a precautionary lockdown. Police are still searching for those involved in the shooting.
More Articles to Read