Sumter law enforcement investigating rash of shootings - - Columbia, South Carolina

Sumter law enforcement investigating rash of shootings

(Sumter) Aug. 11, 2003 - Sumter has had four shootings in seven days. Sumter County deputies have arrested three men after a teenager was killed in his mobile home during a drive-by shooting. Officials are looking for two men they think are responsible for the other two shootings.

Authorities say Alphonzo Simon, 19, was shot at least four times around 4:30am Sunday morning at his home on St. Paul Church Road in Sumter. Sumter County Coroner Verna Moore says emergency workers tried to revive Simon while taking him to the hospital, but he was pronounced dead in the emergency room at 4:43am.

Terecia Pollard is Simon's cousin, "In a few days we're going to be burying my little cousin and we shouldn't be doing that not yet, not at 19."

Bobby Mickens is also Simon's cousin, "People ain't right, you ask yourself why, wonder why."

Pollard says the family only has answers to how, "I don't believe he knew what hit him. None of the windows are broken out of the house. Bullets came through the wall."

Sheriff's Chief Deputy Anthony Dennis says Philip Neopoleon Brooks, 24, has been charged with murder. Dennis says Tyrus Archie, 23, and Nicholas Reese, 21, also were arrested Sunday and have been charged with accessory to murder.

Sheriff Tommy Mims says the drive-by was in retaliation of a fight at a local nightclub involving one of Simon's cousins, "It seems like everybody wants to take the law into their own hands and retaliate. Take care of it themselves."

Simon, a former student at Lakewood High School, dreamed of a career as a performing artist and was supposed to leave Monday for Atlanta to record an album. His family is now working on funeral arrangements.

Sheriff Mims says it's the latest in a rash of unrelated incidents of violence and retaliation. Investigators say it started August 3rd when Graham Brown tried to light a Miller Road house on fire. Deputies say Eric Wilson retaliated and shot him. They are both now arrested.
The next day a man was shot while sitting on a Belmont Street porch. Four days later, a witness to that shooting was shot a few blocks away on Wayne Street. Deputies are still looking for suspects Raheim Carter and Joshua Cogdell in that case.

If you have any information on either of these men, call the Sumter police at 803-436-2790.

By Megan Hughes
Updated 6:39pm by BrettWitt

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