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Family of 14-year-old shot and killed on front porch in Orangeburg Co. mourns

Published: Oct. 7, 2020 at 10:11 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Deputies in Orangeburg County continue to investigate a shooting that killed a 14-year-old on Monday.

The Orangeburg County Coroner’s Office identified the teenager as Tyler Benjamin. Authorities say the shooting happened around 7:45 p.m. at a home on Tee Vee Road in Elloree. Tyler’s mother, Rashika Oliver, said that he was walking out of the front door when he was shot on the front porch of the home. She said she wasn’t home at the time and is heartbroken to have her 14-year-old son taken from her.

Oliver said Tyler was kind and curious, always asking questions, and that it’s unfathomable that at 14 years old, they will never get to hear his voice again.

“Every morning, I get up and look for Tyler,” Oliver said tearfully. “For them to do that to me, he don’t deserve that. He was only 14 years old.”

Oliver said that Tyler was at home with his brother and uncle on Monday night.

Authorities said a witness told them a white Honda and gray Acura passed by the home shortly before the shooting and shots were fired from the wooded area beside the house.

“He had the mind of a 30-year-old man, the things and ideals he talked about, the things he wanted to do, I’d be like, ‘Where do you come up with that stuff?’” Oliver said.

Tyler’s grandmother said this isn’t the first time shots were fired at the home.

“The kids that are growing up now, they’re all about guns,” Gloria Shivers, Tyler’s grandmother, said. “It’s just hard for me to explain. I don’t understand it.”

His family said there was a drive-by shooting two months ago and another last Friday that left bullet holes all along the side of their home.

“It’s hard when you’re raising four kids and it’s still not safe in your home,” Shivers said.

The family said they will always remember Tyler and his love for animals and the outdoors.

“His main thing was his dogs and dirt bikes,” Oliver said. “He would go down to his grandma’s house every weekend and ride his dirtbikes.”

Oliver said they will also remember his loving spirit.

“When I felt like I couldn’t do something, Tyler would always tell me,' Ma you got this. You can do it,'” Oliver said. “Now, I feel like this is something right here that I don’t have. I don’t know if I’ve got this.”

Oliver said she hopes whoever is responsible is brought to justice and that the gun violence in the community stops. The family said they are still planning the funeral but in the meantime are planning to do a balloon release this Friday in his honor.

The Orangeburg County Coroner’s Office conducted an autopsy on Wednesday. The Orangeburg County Sheriff’s Office is continuing to investigate.

If you have any information about this shooting, please call the Orangeburg County Sheriff’s Office at 803-534-3550 or contact Crimestoppers in one of the following ways:

  • PHONE TIP — Call the toll free number at 1-888-CRIME-SC (888-274-6372).
  • WEB TIP — Go to www.midlandscrimestoppers.com and click “Submit a Tip”.
  • MOBILE TIP — Download the new P3 Tips app on your Apple or Android Device.

You can provide information anonymously through Midlands Crime Stoppers. Your tip could earn you a cash reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to the arrest of the person responsible for this crime.

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