CHEROKEE Co., S.C. (WSPA) — Authorities are investigating the death of a man found shot near a Gaffney textile plant.
Dispatch says a shooting was reported early Tuesday morning at Suminoe Textile of America just off Interstate 85.
Cherokee County Coroner Dennis Fowler said another person in the car called 911 to report that he and the driver had been shot.
Fowler identified the victim as Matthew Markess Littlejohn, 33, of Panorama Street in Boiling Springs.
Littlejohn died at the scene.
“According to the passenger, he and the victim were at another location when someone fired several rounds into the vehicle with one striking Littlejohn who fled the scene driving into the Meadow Creek Industrial Park, “ Fowler said in a news release.
The passenger was later identified as a family member of Littlejohn.
The Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office said a victim told deputies they were followed from a gas station on Shelby Highway by a suspect who opened fire on them as they drove north on Highway 18.
Deputies said Littlejohn continued onto Highway 329 and stopped at Commerce Drive.
The shooter fled the scene and his identity is unknown, but investigators were able to obtain surveillance video from a convenience store.
Carla Tanner told us that she received a call around 2 a.m. saying her nephew, Littlejohn, had been shot and killed by an unknown gunman.
“So I put my clothes on to try to come to the scene,” Tanner said.
“It’s too many murders, unsolved murder, that’s going on with in these last few months right here in Cherokee County that need to be solved,” Tanner said.
Deputies describe the person of interest as a male, possibly Hispanic, with a slim to medium build and 5 feet 6 inches to 5 feet 8 inches tall. The vehicle of interest is a light colored (possibly champagne, beige or silver) Chevrolet Blazer or GMC Jimmy, according to deputies.
The Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office asks anyone with information to call Crime Stoppers at 1-888-CRIMESC or Investigator Tim Brasier at 864-489-4722 with any information.
Deputies say the suspect should be considered armed and dangerous.
An autopsy is scheduled Wednesday.
Suminoe Textile released the following statement after the shooting:
We are certainly distraught about the shooting incident that occurred outside of our facility near the entrance to our warehouse but want to reassure the public that none of our employees were involved. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victim and his family.”