Greenville Co. Sheriff Steve Loftis talks about recent homicides in the county. (Feb. 27, 2013/FOX Carolina)
GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) -
Greenville County Sheriff Steve Loftis held a press conference Wednesday to discuss a rash of recent homicides in the southern part of the county.
Six people were killed in the past two months and the crime is an urgent problem Loftis said his office is addressing.
Loftis said he had put more deputies on the streets and is cracking down on drugs and gangs. He said he has never seen so much violence in one part of the county and he's vowed to clean it up.
"I've never seen this kind of activity in any portion of the county," Loftis said. "We really don't know why it's so concentrated with six deaths in one generally, relatively small area."
More than 900 additional man hours have been used to crack down on crime in the area along White Horse Road between Augusta Road and south of Interstate 85, Loftis said. He said 100 people have been arrested in recent weeks for various crimes including drug and gun violations.
The six homicides Loftis referenced included the most recent death of 21-year-old John Zimeri, who was shot to death at a home on Centre Boulevard on Saturday. Loftis said seven people were arrested and charged in connection with that homicide.
Loftis said the first homicide was the Dec. 11 death of 51-year-old Joseph Crite, who was shot to death inside his Lanford Drive home. Last week, four people were charged in connection with his death.
A week later at the Highland Square Apartments, 26-year-old Chiquita Johnson died and a man was injured in a shooting outside of the complex, deputies said. Four people were charged in connection with that shooting.
Investigators said on Jan. 13, 29-year-old Marcus McGee was shot to death outside a Greenville nightclub previously known as Bobby T's and an arrest was made not long after the shooting.
So far in 2013, Loftis said they still have two unsolved homicides on their hands. On Jan. 8, deputies said 31-year-old Darilus Williams' body was found shot to death at a home on Springbrook Drive.
Then on Jan. 19, deputies said 47-year-old Edward Goldsmith was killed and found in the parking lot of the Crescent Landing Apartments on White Horse Road. No arrests have been made in his death.
While all the crimes in the area have not resulted in deaths, Loftis said he wants the community to know his office is committed to getting criminals off the streets and into jail.
During Wednesday's press conference, Loftis also discussed the arrest of a former decorated Greenville County deputy, 32-year-old Timothy William Jackson, on charges of misconduct in office and obstructing justice. He said Jackson's arrest was unrelated to the homicide cases.
Copyright 2013 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
Wednesday, May 22 2013 9:38 PM EDT2013-05-23 01:38:14 GMT
MOORE, OK - The trembling, mud-spattered dog whose photo went viral on Tuesday was not actually standing watch over her owner's body - her name is Susie, her owner is named Curtis Collins, and he's alive.ThanksMore >
There's a happy ending to the story of the little dog who was found standing guard over a body after the EF-5 tornado that decimated her neighborhood in Moore, OK. Her owner is alive, and they have been reunited thanks to the viral photo. More >