The Pickens County Sheriff’s Office with assistance from the SC Highway Patrol is conducting an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of a male victim found along Saluda Dam Rd in Pickens County.
At approximately 12:15pm today, the Sheriff’s Office received a report from a passing motorist of a suspicious person that appeared to be injured on the shoulder of Saluda Dam Rd near the intersection of Pistol Club Rd.
Deputies arrived on the scene in approximately eight minutes and located a male subject that was deceased just feet from the paved roadway. Deputies and Troopers from the SC Highway Patrol examined the scene and are currently unable to definitively determine whether the victim may have been struck by a motor vehicle or perhaps died from other causes.
An autopsy has been requested by the Pickens County Coroner’s Office which will be scheduled on a later date to determine the manner and cause of death.
Inquiries regarding the identity of the victim should be directed to the Pickens County Coroner’s Office.
Anyone that may have been in the area over the past 24hrs and noticed anything unusual or suspicious is asked to call the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office at (864) 898-5500 or Crime Stoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC.
The investigation into the shooting of a husband and wife on McJunkin Dr. in Pickens thus far has produced information indicative of an attempted murder of the wife (73 yoa) followed by a self-inflicted gunshot to the husband (81 yoa).
Evidence from the autopsy conducted on the husband this afternoon has confirmed that the deceased sustained a single gunshot wound to the head from a small caliber weapon.
Additional evidence collected at the scene and from the husband’s body is consistent with the shot having been self-inflicted.
The wife remains hospitalized following overnight surgery to repair injuries sustained from having been shot one time in the upper torso. She is expected to survive with an extensive recovery period.
Interviews conducted with the victim by Sheriff’s detectives have provided information that is in corroboration with the evidence collected at the scene indicating that the wife was intentionally shot by the husband before turning the weapon on himself.
A .22 caliber revolver was recovered from the residence and is believed to be the weapon used to shoot both parties.
According to the wife, her husband became verbally agitated over a discussion involving her decision to stay with relatives for a few days at which time he informed her of his intent to take her life and commit suicide.
No information or evidence has been collected to indicate any criminal activity on the part of the wife throughout the investigation.
No record of any previous history of a law enforcement response to the residence involving domestic altercations is on file with this agency.
Last week, the Sheriff’s Office received notification from the 13th Judicial Circuit Solicitor’s Office that the legal review of the investigation into the fatal shooting of an escaped inmate by a homeowner on December 4, 2018 had been completed.
Assistant Solicitor J. Baker Cleveland III stated…
“It is the opinion of this office that (Name Redacted) would be immune from prosecution for any charges relating to the shooting death of Bruce McLaughlin pursuant to Title 16, Article 6 of the S.C. Code of Laws, the Protection of Persons and Property Act.
Her actions in this matter are a textbook example of what type of actions the Protection of Persons and Property Act seek to provide absolute criminal immunity for.”
No criminal charges will be sought by the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office against the homeowner in this incident.
The Pickens County Sheriff’s Office has not uncovered any evidence of criminal activity thus far in the investigation of a man found deceased in the burned debris left from a small building that was consumed by fire on November 21, 2018.
An autopsy was conducted on Thanksgiving morning and detectives present during that examination were not provided any information or evidence indicating that Mr. Rickey A. Johnson died by any other means outside of what is normally found in incidents where someone becomes either trapped or disoriented during a structure fire.
Interviews with the surviving girlfriend who also was injured during the event have provided the only eye witness details of the moments leading up to the building becoming completely engulfed by fire.
The girlfriend (60yoa) states that only she and the victim were residing in the small structure that resembled a large storage building. The residents were using propane heaters to warm the interior and on the morning of the incident they observed flames near a propane heater.
The victim and witness approached the only door to the exterior when the victim turned around as if to gather some personal items. He never exited the door before it became totally consumed by flames. The victim’s dog also perished in the fire.
An extensive search of the scene did not uncover any evidence that would indicate that the fire was intentionally set or that any type accelerant was used to start the fire.
Detectives will wait for the final results that will come from routine, toxicology tests performed on the victim before making a final determination. Agents from the SC Law Enforcement Division are assisting the Sheriff’s Office with the investigation.
The Pickens County Sheriff’s Office has throughout the day continued to investigate the fire that tragically resulted in a man’s death earlier this morning.
As previously released, a passing motorist observed flames at approximately 8:35am coming from a small structure within plain view from the road located at 3156 Dacusville Highway.
Emergency responders arrived on the scene to find the building which appeared to be initially designed as a storage building to be completely destroyed.
The Sheriff’s Office has confirmed that two adults (male and female) and a dog lived inside the location. The male (61yoa) along with the dog perished in the fire. The female (60yoa) was transported from the scene to the hospital where she is being treated for burns to the hands.
Preliminary information and an examination of the scene do not immediately indicate any obvious signs of foul play.
Detectives have been able to conduct a brief interview with the surviving woman who has indicated that she and her boyfriend, who is the deceased, lived at the location. Just prior to the incident being reported by the passing motorist, the female resident stated that both she and her boyfriend observed fire at or near a propane heater inside the structure.
As they attempted to evacuate from the building, the male turned to retrieve items and never exited the structure according to the girlfriend.
An autopsy is scheduled on a later date to determine the exact cause and manner of death for the male.
The Sheriff’s Office with the assistance of SLED investigators will continue to examine and test samples taken from the scene along with the results from the autopsy once it has been performed.
Sheriff Rick Clark stated…
“Pickens County is not immune from the occasional tragedy involving the loss of life. Our hearts and prayers remain with all of those involved or in some way connected to this incident to include our first responders”.
The Sheriff’s Office does not have any additional information to release at this time and as new information or details are discovered, we will disseminate that information to all media resources at one time in the form of an additional media release.