Ascot Estates mystery: One week later

Tammy Parker and Bryan Capnerhurst
Tammy Parker and Bryan Capnerhurst

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - It's been a week since a double homicide inside an upscale subdivision shocked many in the Midlands and left family members and a neighborhood wondering just what happened that afternoon.

The two people that lost their lives that Friday the 13th on Tackeria Court, Tammy Parker and Bryan Capnerhurst, were laid to rest this week, but what led to their shooting deaths remains a mystery to most.

Tammy's husband, 42-year-old Brett Parker, was questioned in connection with the incident, but has not been named a suspect or charged.

Investigators said Brett was the only other person in the home and called 911 around 12:30 p.m.

According to an incident report, Brett was unarmed and standing in the home's driveway when officers arrived. An officer drew his weapon at Brett and told him to get on the ground so officers could secure him in handcuffs.

Moments later, other deputies arrived to search the home and located Tammy and Capnerhurst's bodies.

Citing investigatory reasons, Richland County investigators only released one page of the multiple-page incident report taken after the crime. It is unclear what the rest of the report reveals.

The Richland County Sheriff's Department has not said much for days and won't do so until they believe investigators have been able to complete an accurate timeline of the events and determine the facts of the case.

A sheriff's department spokesperson initially told WIS that the incident was a robbery gone wrong, but retracted that information calling it "preliminary."

On Monday, Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott said the deaths would be "aggressively investigated" and the case's findings would be released as soon as all the evidence was reviewed and a timeline was established. 

Lott added, "there is a lot of speculation in the news and community about what happened." Lott has assured the family and community that the speculation "will play no part in determining what happened."

The bulk of any facts that may help tell the story have come not from law enforcement, but from the coroner.

Richland County Coroner Gary Watts said on Saturday, barely 24 hours after the crime, that Capnerhurst was an invited guest to the house and the two were shot with different guns. Both died on the second floor of the home. Parker was found in the office and Capnerhurst in a storage room near the office.

The coroner said Brett asked Capnerhurst to visit that day so that they could take care of some business. What that business was is not known, but Watts said it was not drug-related.

Watts warned the public not to come to any conclusions until the facts of the case were released by the sheriff's department.

"Rumors and innuendo have been flying all over Columbia," said Watts on Saturday. "I would just ask that people do two things: wait for the facts in this case to come out. The Sheriff's Department will have more details to release in the next few days. So I ask people to just wait for the facts not to assume anything until they get the facts in this case."

A spokesperson with the department said late Monday that the house does have exterior surveillance cameras and that the sheriff's department is analyzing the video as part of the investigation. That video and 911 call audio is being withheld from the media because it's considered "evidentiary."

A SLED background check shows that Tammy and Capnerhurst do not have any type of arrest record in the state of South Carolina.


Tammy Parker is survived by two children, a 13-year-old and a 5-year-old. She was a pharmaceutical representative and one of the lead singers of the Columbia-based band Jumpstart, a band formed in 1992.

According to the band's website, Tammy was "a down home country beauty queen." Her talent and showmanship was balanced with an amazing voice, the website said. "One minute she'll be leading the Electric Slide and the making grown men cry with a ballad."


Bryan Capnerhurst's friends, Randy Gibson and James Headley, have heard all the rumors and speculation, but they want to set the record straight about the man that many in the community called "coach".

"He had the ability to come in with the different leagues and solve the problems you have with youth sports," Gibson said. "Takes a special person for that."

Gibson was Capnerhurst's boss. He worked at the Lexington County Recreation Commission for 22 years. A former baseball player at Morehead State, Capnerhurst spent the last two decades teaching the fundamentals of the game.

"Bryan's passing was not only a huge loss to this agency, but for youth sports in Lexington County," Gibson said.

On the day Capnerhurst died, his friends say he wasn't feeling well and he wasn't at work on Friday.

Headley worked down the hall from Capnerhurst. The two were co-coaches for a real-life baseball team. Last week, Headley would be called a friend. Today, he was a pallbearer.

"He was a friend, he was a coach, he was a person that's going to be missed," Headley said.

Deputies won't say what they think happened. Headley says he is just as confused as anyone. He says his friend was a happy family man who hated guns and would've never had one on him. As for those rumors, Headley says they are just speculation from people who didn't know his friend.

"He was a friend, he was a coach, he was a person that's going to be missed," Headley said.

Headley says he is just as confused as anyone about the case. He says his friend was a happy family man who hated guns and would've never had one on him. As for those rumors, Headley says they are just speculation from people who didn't know his friend.


Brett Parker is a 1988 graduate of Chapin High School and a Winthrop University alumnus, according to his Facebook page. He lists his employment as working for "Self."

Brett and Tammy were married for 15 years before her April 13 death.

WIS will continue to follow this story and bring you the latest details.

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