'He didn’t deserve to die that way’: Father mourns son killed in Darlington Co. shooting

Coroner: 23-year-old man dies following Darlington County shooting; one other injured

DARLINGTON COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) – A man has died following a shooting Thursday night in Darlington County, according to Coroner J. Todd Hardee.

Darlington County deputies responded to the shooting on Larrys Drive, off of Rogers Road, around 10 p.m. Thursday.

Hardee said 23-year-old James L. Williams Jr. of Darlington died at the scene.

A second person was shot. Authorities said their injuries were non life-threatening.

WMBF News spoke with the victim’s father, James Williams Sr. who said his son was an innocent bystander.

“He didn’t deserve to die that way… he just didn’t deserve to die that way to the streets,” Williams said.

Williams said what started as a good night on the porch took a turn when a fight between neighbors escalated to a shooting. He said his son was caught in the crossfire.

“We fall down and hit the deck,” Williams said. "By the time shots stop ringing I get up and call for my son. He’s laying down… he’s dead.”

The community is no stranger to violence. In January 2018, two other people were shot in the neighborhood.

Williams said there has been five shootings since he moved in 13 years ago.

“They need to speak out and let people know about these guns, what these kids doing with these guns and get them off of the streets and out of their hands,” he said.

Williams said he never had to worry about that with his son. He described him as a quiet and kind young man who’s life was cut short by a stray bullet.

“I always taught him not to do the things I’ve done. Not to be gang banger, never go in the streets, get a job, hold yourself down and he did all of that,” Williams said.

It’s not clear if any suspects are in custody at this time.

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