Leads continue to be followed in 2010 Florence triple homicide

Johnny Timmons, left; Shannon Gainey, center; and Tion Gore, right, were killed execution-style in August 2010. (Source: WMBF News)
Johnny Timmons, left; Shannon Gainey, center; and Tion Gore, right, were killed execution-style in August 2010. (Source: WMBF News)

FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) - It was a triple homicide that shattered a close-knit community in Florence.

In August 2010, three friends were each shot three times in the head for no apparent reason.

For six years, investigators have been trying to solve this cold case. For six years, family and friends of Shannon Gainey, Tion Gore and Johnny Timmons have been unable to move on.

"Did she beg them not to shoot her?" asked Wanda Gainey, Shannon's mother. "You know, did she cry out for me? You know, every day you think about things like these. It's never at ease and until they find the person or persons that did do this, there's no closure for us."

As she stares at her wall of pictures, Gainey relives the brief time her daughter was here on earth. A make-shift shrine is all the mother has left of a daughter taken tragically and far too soon.

"Every day, I walk by I tell her I love her and I miss her, you know," she said. "Yeah, she was my baby."

On Aug. 16, 2010, shots rang out that took three lives.

The first three shots killed Shannon Gainey's neighbor and close friend, Johnny Timmons, as he sat in his recliner in his mobile home just behind his sister Doris Matthew's home on Short Post Lane.

"I just think somebody had a revenge on just some people in general and he just happened to be in the crossfire of it," said Matthews.

Three more bullets killed Tion Gore, Johnny and Shannon's friend who lived just down the street.  She was also in the mobile home.

It wasn't until an hour or so later that authorities found 25-year-old Shannon. The way in which authorities say they discovered her will haunt her mother forever.

"They said they found Shannon in the back bedroom closet," Gainey said. "Yeah, she was scrunched down like she was hiding."

Authorities, with nowhere to turn, knew they had their work cut out for them.

"They said at one time that it could be robbery but nothing was taken," Gainey said. "Then they said it could be drug related, but they found no drugs so I don't know."

While it's a tough case, it's not an impossible one. Investigators are confident it can be solved, and area residents may hold that missing link."

"Sometimes you know what happened, but you don't have all of the pieces of the puzzle and the information to put it together so that you can prove exactly what you know," said Lt. Kathleen Street with the Florence County Sheriff's Office. "We need the missing piece. We need the person or persons that have the information to come forward with the information. We're 99 percent positive that they have the information but we can't make them give us the information. Their conscience needs to guide them as far as that goes."

It's been six long years for Gainey and Matthews and they're now closer than ever, as they share an unenviable bond. The two find solace somehow in knowing they have each been dealt virtually the same unlucky hand.

They know they can't rest until they find their loved ones' killer and they are desperate for answers.

Anyone with information should call the Florence County Sheriff's Office at (843) 667-TIPS. Callers could be eligible for a cash reward.

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