Gaston mother grieves for murdered son

Andrew Powell
Andrew Powell

LEXINGTON, SC (WIS) - A Gaston man came home to find his 21-year-old stepson shot to death in the living room, according to Lexington County deputies.

"He was such a wonderful son," said Debbie Powell. "He was my whole entire world. And someone took my world away from me."

Debbie Powell will never be able to hug the son she called "Andy Bear" ever again.

"He was kind, he was sweet," she said. "I don't know who would have done this and I'm not sure why they would have done it. I don't know why anyone would hurt Andy."

Debbie says she talked to her son, Andrew Phillip Powell, on the phone a little before 7:00pm Thursday. She says he was feeling sick, and planned to eat a bowl of soup and go to bed. Investigators say around 11:30pm, someone shot Andrew inside the house.

Deputies say Billy Mack Powell returned to his home on Goodwin Road near Gaston at around 4:00am Friday and found his stepson. Billy called 9-1-1 and told authorities Andrew was not breathing and might be dead.

When deputies arrived at around 4:30am, Andrew was lying on his back in the corner of the home's living room, shot to death.

Coroner Harry Harman says Andrew bled to death after he was shot in the chest and arm about five hours before his body was found. Andrew also had been beaten in the chest.

"About 11:30 last night I heard a car door shut in the front yard," said Shale Colleti.

Two doors down, Coleti says she didn't hear the gunshot, but she heard a car outside playing music for about an hour and a half.

"I heard radio, stereo systems until about 2:00 that night," said Colleti.

Coleti says she told the information to investigators. Authorities haven't identified any suspects at this time.

Investigators searched for clues most of Friday. When they left, Andrew's friends comforted his mother. Friday night they anxiously wait for answers.

"Somebody killed my son, they murdered him and they're walking free on the street," said Debbie. "And that's wrong."

Sheriff James Metts said detectives are continuing to investigate who shot Andrew and why, and said it appears the shooting was not a random act.

Metts asked anyone with information about Andrew or his death to call Crimestoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC.

Copyright 2009 WIS. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.