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Officials: Sumter Co. man shot wife, himself in front of child and deputies

Updated: Apr. 5, 2021 at 3:30 PM EDT
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MAYESVILLE, S.C. (WIS) - A man shot his wife and turned the gun on himself at their Sumter County home on Sunday night, deputies said.

It happened just before midnight at a house on Eastern School Road in Mayesville.

A 16-year-old called deputies because his mother and stepfather were fighting and he said his mother’s face was bloody.

When deputies went inside the house, they found the man sitting with his wife on a couch.

The woman immediately called out to deputies, but when that happened the man pulled out a gun.

Deputies said they quickly shielded the teen and took cover, then heard two gunshots a few seconds later.

Officials believe the man shot his wife and then himself. They both died at the scene.

The woman has been identified as Shameka Dantzler, 36, and the shooter was identified as 41-year-old Lester Reed.

“I pray for the families involved, particularly, for the juvenile who witnessed this horrific event,” Sheriff Anthony Dennis said. “I strongly encourage any victim of domestic abuse, or loved ones who are aware or suspicious of abuse, to please reach out for help. The Sumter County Sheriff’s Office victims’ advocates can provide information and resources to assist victims in escaping abusive relationships. Early intervention can be a key to protecting victims of domestic abuse. While we do not yet know all the details concerning this couple’s relationship history, we do know that the very sudden and rapid progression of Mr. Reed’s actions Sunday night resulted in a deadly outcome.”

Deputies said none of them fired a shot. The teenager is safe and with family.

An autopsy has been scheduled for Dantzler and Reed and the investigation is ongoing.

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