SPARTANBURG COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) – Deputies have arrested two minors and are searching for a third following a fatal shooting at a Spartanburg County apartment complex Tuesday evening.
The Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office said they were called to the Quail Pointe Apartments on East Blackstock Road shortly after 9:30 p.m for a report of gunshots.
Deputies said they responded and found a man in the parking lot near the J building who had been shot.
The Spartanburg County Coroner’s Office identified the man as Jaqwaun Tamar Mills, 24, of Spartanburg. His death has been ruled a homicide.
Lieutenant Kevin Bobo, with the sheriff’s office, said the teenagers are 15- and 16-years-old.
“That has been a steady trend that we’re dealing with younger and younger suspects,” said Lieutenant Bobo.
According to the sheriff’s office, deputies recovered two guns that had been left near the scene. Lieutenant Bobo said witness statements helped them find the weapons.
“I think we had a witness on the scene that saw the suspects running, gave us a direction they were traveling, and actually told us they saw one of them throw a gun here and we were able to recover the gun,” he said.
Suspects stole a car from near the scene and abandoned it in the city limits, deputies said.
With the help of the Spartanburg Police Department, two of the three minors were located and arrested.
“Then some more information came in about who was possibly operating that vehicle, and that’s how the two juvenile males were located,” said Lieutenant Bobo.
He said the Quail Pointe Apartments is well known to investigators.
“It’s traditionally, it’s a high call volume area, but it’s not the only one that we respond to,” said Bobo.
In the past, Lt. Bobo said witnesses haven’t always come forward for shootings there.
“Last night, for whatever reason, it was entirely different. We had cooperative witnesses, very helpful witnesses,” he said.
The sheriff’s office said people stepping forward to share information made all the difference.
“We would not be this far along if it wasn’t for those people being willing to talk,” said Lieutenant Bobo.
He said cases like these depend on the public stepping forward, but he can understand why it might be scary.
“I’ve been here 35 years and I can’t think of one time where we’ve had someone retaliated against for cooperating with us,” he said.
He said there are always ways you can report things anonymously to help make your community a safer place to live.
Both of the minors were charged with murder, possession of a weapon during a violent crime, and grand larceny.
They are currently being held in the Department of Juvenile Justice in Columbia.
The Spartanburg County Coroner’s Office said a forensic exam was performed Wednesday morning and results show that Mills suffered multiple gunshot wounds.