Pee Dee man dies weeks after Darlington Co. home invasion

DARLINGTON COUNTY, SC (WMBF) A Darlington County man has died weeks after two men invaded the home he shared with his wife in Lamar.

Darlington County Coroner JT Hardee said Saturday that 70-year-old Derrick Amerson of Lamar died Friday in a hospital in Columbia from multiple injuries sustained during a home invasion take occurred on Jan.29.

Amerson's autopsy is scheduled for Monday. His death is ruled a homicide, Hardee said.

Deputies say two men broke into his home, beat him and shot him in front of his wife.

Family members met up at the Lamar home hours after the incident, scrubbing floors and cleaning up blood - evidence left from a brutal home invasion. A break in they say left them with horrifying memories.

"I see my grandma and she was crying and I said 'what's going on' and walk in and saw my granddaddy laying on the floor shot with his stomach hanging out," said Granddaughter Jessica Poarch.

Family members went to check up on their grandparents and say they found 70 year-old Derrick Amerson and 67 year-old Edna May Amerson badly beaten that Sunday night.

Just minutes earlier, investigators say two men entered the Lamar home through an unlocked back door. The two men reportedly beat Derrick and his wife and shot him in the stomach.

Capt. Andy Locklair, spokesman for the Darlington County Sheriff's Office, told WMBF News the incident occurred in the 400 block of Pine Street in Lamar around 11 p.m. on Jan. 29 by two unknown suspects.

When family arrived, they called police.

"He said 'I'm not going to make it' and I said 'yea you are going to make it' and I said 'don't say that, they'll be here in a minute' and I was yelling at the woman on the phone 'hurry up, get here',"said Poarch.

But granddaughter, Jessica Poarch said when she stepped outside, the ambulance was sitting across the street.

"The ambulance was parked down the road because they had to wait for the cops to get here," said Poarch.

Officials say in certain situations, EMS must wait for deputies to get to the scene to make sure the suspects aren't still there.

Family members and Darlington County Sheriff's Deputies swept the area around the home for evidence with nothing but a few footprints.

Family members living nearby say they won't have any peace of mind until the suspects are caught.

"I'm scared, I'm terrified, I don't want to stay here," said Poarch.

The suspects reportedly got away with $2,150 in cash.

"It's not worth taking someone's life and their family. It hurts, it really does hurt, but I'm trying to stay strong for my papa because I know he's gonna make it through," said granddaughter Tiffany Harrell.

Amerson's wife Edna was released from the hospital shortly before he was transferred to a hospital in Columbia where he was treated until he died Friday.

The victims say the suspects were two men, wearing black scarves over their faces and black hoodies.

The Darlington County Coroner's Office and the Darlington County Sheriff's Office are investigating this incident. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Darlington County Sheriff's Office at 843-398-4502.

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