A 1-year-old boy and his father were killed in a Sunday shooting in the St. Andrews area of Columbia, just three days before the toddler’s second birthday.
Richland County Coroner Gary Watts on Monday afternoon identified the victims of the double-fatal shooting as 23-year-old James Antheny McDowell and his son, 1-year-old Tyreen D. McDowell.
Deputies were called to an apartment building on the 100 block of Beatty Downs Road around 1 p.m. for a man who was unresponsive, the sheriff’s department said. That’s just off Beatty Road between Interstate 26 and Broad River Road.
McDowell was found in front of the home and died en route to the hospital, said Lt. Kevin Isenhoward, an investigator on the case. Tyreen, who would have turned 2 on Wednesday, was found dead inside McDowell’s apartment.
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Crime scene investigators were still working the scene Monday afternoon. Isenhoward said Tyreen and his father were both shot inside the apartment.
“It appears that he may have known the person who did this,” Isenhoward said of McDowell. “There wasn’t any major damage to the door.”
A neighbor heard the gunshots and McDowell’s cries for help and called 911, Isenhoward said.
Investigators do not yet have a suspect description and are speaking with potential witnesses and family members of McDowell and his son.
“Rarely do we have a child this age shot,” Isenhoward said.” It’s difficult to view that, but it’s also the reason why I became an investigator. This motivates you to solve the case, do it quickly and hold those (responsible) accountable.”
The sheriff’s department has a large presence in that area because of its proximity to one of their regional offices and also because of issues with drug sales in the area.
“We also acknowledge that there are some issues in the community with some drug sales, and we’ve been actively investigating drugs and some possible gang activity there,” Isenhoward said. He could not say Monday if drugs or gangs are suspected in the deadly shooting.
There was no mention of a second victim in the release from the sheriff’s department on Sunday. Sheriff’s spokesperson Sgt. Amanda Jordan said the agency could not release any information about the juvenile victim until they confirmed with the coroner’s office that the boy’s mother had been notified of his death.
Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call Crimestoppers at 888-CRIME-SC (888-274-6372). Callers will remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.