Hate crime? White college student, stepfather fatally shot in head on front lawn over fender bender

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GEORGETOWN, SC –A college student and her stepfather were involved in a fender bender in Georgetown, South Carolina. 

Police say after the accident, the person who rear ended them exited his vehicle and shot them and another person.  Both the stepfather and daughter died at the scene.

Charles Wall was driving to his stepdaughter’s, 21-year-old Laura Anderson, new home that she had just finished moving into.  Anderson had accidentally locked herself out of the house and had called Wall to bring by a spare set of keys so she could get back inside. 

Anderson was waiting outside of the home for Wall when he arrived. 

Wall was slowing to pull into the driveway of the home when police allege that Ty Sheem Walters, III, rear-ended Wall close to 5pm.  The Georgetown County Sheriff’s Office then allege that Walters exited his vehicle and shot Wall, Anderson, and another person at the scene, Paul McConnell.

When police arrived on scene, they learned that one of the victims had already been transported to the hospital while a second was being given CPR.  They then noted a third person who was walking around the area in an altered mental state with a gunshot wound to his left wrist. 

Police arrest warrants allege that Walters fired his gun at Wall first, which struck him at least twice, about his head and torso.  He then fired and struck Anderson in the head at least once.  McConnell, was also struck and then hit in the head by Walters. 

McConnell is expected to survive.

Walters immediately fled the scene and attempted to hide in a nearby set of woods.  Police set up a perimeter in the area and deployed canine units to assist in the search.  Walters was located and taken into custody.

Kimberly Wall, the mother of Anderson and wife of Charles old WMBF:

 “I’m having to bury one of my children and husband.  It’s such a freak thing.  I don’t know why this would happen.  I just don’t understand.  It’s just devasting.  I don’t know how we’re going to go forward.” 

Family friend Lynn Lambert, told WPDE:

“I don’t understand how a simple fender bender they called it could turn into double murder and attempted murder.  Why?  I honestly didn’t think it was real.  Who does this?”

Lambert said that Anderson:

“…wanted to be a teacher like her momma.  She was getting ready to start school.  She was getting everything in order.  Everything was starting to fall in place for her.  She won’t get to get married, she won’t get to have children.” 

Jenna Johnson, Anderson’s aunt, said:

“They both mean so much to so many people.  Anyone who’s ever met or known Laura or Nick, they knew two of the most wonderful people.  My niece was simply a gorgeous person inside and out.  She had a very positive bubbly personality.  She was starting school next week to become a teacher just like her mom.”

Johnson continued, Anderson “had a very close relationship with her mom, Kimberly, who’s my sister-in-law; and she absolutely adored her siblings, especially her little sister Jenna, who has Down’s syndrome.  She’s [Kimberly] an amazing sister-in-law, amazing daughter, amazing mother, and a wife and I just can’t imagine what she’s going through right now.” 

Walters was arrested and charged for two counts of murder and one count of attempted murder and illegal possession of a firearm in the case.  On August 26th, he appeared before a judge at a bond hearing where he was held without granting of any bond. 

Kimberly Wall had the opportunity to speak to the judge at the bond hearing.  She said that the shooting occurred within three miles of where she lives and said that Walters took her “best friends” away from her. 

Across the line in North Carolina, officials are investigating another potential hate crime as well.

GARNER, NC- On Saturday, August 15, 17-year-old Veronica Lee Baker was found in the parking lot of a Bojangles restaurant in Garner, North Carolina, shot to death. This past Wednesday, her alleged killer was taken into custody. Why haven’t you heard about this? Well Veronica was white, and her alleged killer(s) were black. In other words, it doesn’t fit the narrative.

 

According to the U.S. Sun, Baker was shot to death inside her car. She graduated from Garner High School this past June, and was scheduled to start classes at Wake Community College in the fall, according to her father.

Police were called to the Bojangles fast food restaurant in Garner, located a short distance from Raleigh on Saturday, August 15th, on the report of an unresponsive person inside a car in the parking lot. Arriving officers found Baker inside the still running car, where she was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the Raleigh News & Observer.

This past Monday, Garner police released the 911 call reporting the incident, in which a man is heard saying that he sees a girl in a running vehicle who did not appear to be breathing.

The caller said:

“There’s a car with the doors wide open and there’s a girl who is unresponsive, 

“It doesn’t look like she’s breathing.”

The caller indicated that he had tried to shake the girl, however she was unresponsive.

Yet a second person on the call said that the car had been in the parking lot for a while, however they didn’t realize something was wrong.

The second person said:

“I went on lunch. I went on my break a few minutes ago, sir, and when I came back the door was open. I didn’t pay no attention,” 

Wednesday, August 19th, police charged 17-year-old Devin Cordell Jones with murder in connection with Baker’s shooting. Police also arrested three other people in connection with the shooting.

 

Officials said that Keyshara Michelle Deans, 19, Nezyiha Zamier Collins, 19, and Tyreek Qumay Rodgers, 18, helped Jones in fleeing the crime scene.

All three have been charged with felony accessory to murder.

Court records said that Deans was the one who allegedly drove Jones away from the crime scene, while the other two suspects are accused of fleeing North Carolina with Jones after the murder.

Officials told CBS17 that the three accessories were all being held on bond; Collins and Rodgers on $500,000 secured bonds each, with Deans being held on a $1.015 million dollar bond. She was also facing charges dating back to June, which are not related to Baker’s killing.

Jones did not appear in court because he is a minor, police said. 

Baker’s friends and neighbors described the teen as sweet and lovely, saying that she had her whole life ahead of her.

Baker’s father, Jim Baker said that his daughter knew the accused killer, speaking to the News & Observer.

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Baker said:

“I’ve seen him at school. They started hanging around sophomore year,” 

Baker said he was sitting in the living room with his family when he received the phone call that police had made arrests in the case.

He said:

“I got the phone call right at 11,” 

He continued:

“Holy crap, it’s Detective Rigsbee,”

Baker said that he was relieved that police had made an arrest in his daughter’s murder.

Baker recalls saying:

“Oh my God, they got ‘em!” 

In his  interview, Baker said that he did not know the older suspects, however recognized Jones. He said that Jones and his daughter were friends, which is possibly why she allowed him in her car.

 

He believes that the motivation for the killing may have been robbery. Jones said that perhaps the fact that Baker and his family took trips together may have given rise to the belief that his daughter had a lot of money, her father said.

He continued that her daughter knew how to defend herself and may have actually fought back. Baker, a retired Marine, said that he had trained Veronica how to use a knife and pepper spray.

Baker noted how Veronica had loved to go camping.

Kendall Anne who is a family friend, said:

“Almost every weekend we would go camping at my parents’ lake property in Bunn,” 

She continued:

“She was always so happy. So, kind. She was never selfish,” 

Finally saying:

“She worried about everyone she cared about. She would literally give you the shirt off her back.”

Jim Baker said that Veronica worked part-time at Harris Teeter, as well as in his RV repair business. She had learned to estimate the cost of a camper or an RV just by looking at one, he said. She had picked out her father’s most recent RV purchase.

Camping was an activity they enjoyed together as a family, and Baker said that going camping going forward would be difficult, as his wife wants him to sell the camper. 

He said:

“My wife said yesterday that she never wanted to go camping again,”

Veronica’s funeral was set for Saturday, and a GoFundMe has been set up or her family.

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