Marion County sheriff identifies motives behind recent shootings

MARION, SC (WBTW) – Over the last four weeks, the Marion County Sheriff’s Office has reported four shooting deaths within the county.

Marion County Sheriff Brian Wallace says the top priority in the county is citizen safety, especially with the recent increase in homicides. Sheriff Wallace says it is unusual to have more than one killing in such a short time.

“We hope it’s not a lasting trend,” says Sheriff Wallace. “When you look across to neighboring counties, they also see what I believe is an increase.”

Marion County deputies are working with SLED to monitor the county’s crime rate. Sheriff Wallace says all of the shootings are unrelated.

“There has been, in some instances, drugs related,” describes Sheriff Wallace. “There have been some domestic issues. Then there are some issues with, one incident with two neighbors. It’s not one over the other. It is a combination.”

Of the four shootings  Wallace said two were domestic, the other two “may have been drug-related”.

Wallace is not sure what caused the increase in shooting deaths.

“It’s hard to say. I do not know. It is unusual to have that much violent crime within a short time period. I don’t know what the answer is. We’re being proactive as much as we can with officers. As far as officers and detectives in the community. We’re just working hard for a safer county.”

The sheriff’s office has suspects in custody for three out of the four shootings.

Kenneth Nichols’ family lives near the area of the fatal shooting on Curry Road, and there are no suspects at this time.

“It didn’t have to be close to here,” says Nichols. “It can happen anywhere, but like I said, we have to come together and love each other.”

Nichols says he is praying for the families involved.

“I’m hoping and praying and trusting in the Lord that the things will just stop,” states Nichols.

Sheriff Wallace asks anyone with information surrounding the shooting death on Curry Road near Mullins to please contact the sheriff’s office.

 

Sheriff Brian Wallace Statement issued August 17th, 2017:

In recent weeks, Marion County has unfortunately experienced what other surrounding counties have been experiencing…an increase in homicides. A homicide can occur in any community, regardless of its racial or socio-economic composition, making it one of the few crimes difficult to predict or prevent, despite a law enforcement agency’s best pro-active efforts. While Marion County citizens should be concerned about any homicide, they should note and take comfort in the following:

–the homicides are not connected in any way and not the result of a serial or spree perpetrator or perpetrators.

–each homicide has been aggressively investigated which led to an arrest in all but one case with each suspect currently in custody.

–we will increase our MCSO presence throughout the county by uniformed patrol and specialized units.

–we are continuing to identify, and make use of, every available law enforcement resource to aggressively prosecute those who commit homicide.

While Marion County has recently experienced a rash of unrelated homicides, it is not an indication of a lasting trend. The safety of all Marion County residents and citizens remains our top priority.