GAFFNEY, SC (WSPA) - There's a new effort to crack two unsolved murder cases in an Upstate community that were opened last year."I was shocked," said Cherokee County Council member Lyman Dawkins, III. "A lot of stuff like this doesn't usually happen especially around here." Just a few months before he got elected to represent Cherokee County's first district, a teenager was gunned down near his home. "Shots went off and my wife was hysterical and I was hysterical," said Dawkins. "I grabbed him [baby] and went into the restroom."Down the street on Lincoln Drive Gaffney, police say several people started shooting and Jasmin McGill was fatally shot in a yard on August 7th."It could've been anybody," said Dawkins. McGill was 18-years-old."When you've got 20-30 people out there, somebody knows who had their weapons," said Gaffney Police Chief Chris Skinner. "It's a sad situation all around and these people have to be taken off the streets."Two weeks later, police say Kamryn Bradley, 8, was in town visiting relatives when someone shot up the home off West Buford Street. Bradley was hit while watching TV from the couch, and died at the hospital. "A very evil person," said Chief Skinner in describing who would kill an innocent child. Police found 15 shell casings at the scene. "Sitting on the couch at one o'clock in the morning watch in tv and you get some guy standing in the parking lot fires a weapon into that house 15 times," said Chief Skinner. "You don't do something that stupid without somebody else knowing. Somebody out there knows who this guy is and the best thing for him to do is turn himself in because we're going to catch him."Day one on the job, Gaffney's new police chief assigned two detectives to work on the Bradley and McGill cases. "We got numerous tips on them but I'm going to dedicate these two detectives to these murders only," said Chief Skinner. "I told them to start back at the beginning and start interviewing people."Chief Skinner says officers will be working to build relationships with the community to protect its citizens and get justice for the victims' families. "I'm going to get the patrol officers, they're going to start going into the communities. We're going to get our trust back. We have to get our trust in this community," said Chief Skinner. "It's important to me. It's important to the city. It's important to their families."Dawkins says the renewed push to solve these cases can give hope to the community. "Shows a good sign that they haven't forgotten about the two victims," said Dawkins. Chief Skinner said if people are afraid to come forward, they should rest assured their identities will remain confidential.
"People have got to help the police department else the police department is no good. We don't have a magic wand," said Chief Skinner. "I'm begging for the people's help who know about these shootings."Anyone with information in these cases can contact Crime Stoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC or the Gaffney Police Department at 864-489-8115.