WHITMIRE — A shooting that claimed the life of an elderly Whitmire man was the result of a domestic dispute according to Union County Sheriff David Taylor.
Deputies were dispatched early in the afternoon of Oct. 2 to a residence at 123 Wilkerson Road in the Whitmire area of the county in reference to a domestic call. When they arrived, they discovered the lifeless body of James K. Smith, 75, in a house next to his residence.
The case has been under investigation since that time and on Tuesday Sheriff David Taylor said that his office has turned over the evidence it has gathered so far to the Sixteenth Circuit Solicitor’s Office. Even with this, however, Taylor said that the investigation is continuing.
“We’ve sent what we have to the Solicitor’s Office,” Taylor said. “We’ve been in contact with them since then to see what also we need to get to make a determination on whether charges will be filed.”
Taylor said that investigators are continuing to gather evidence and that his office is still waiting on the results of the autopsy performed on Smith’s body. He said that Smith was shot in the left nostril with a .22 caliber pistol which he said deputies recovered at the scene of the shooting.
While he would not reveal any details, Taylor said the shooting was the result of a domestic dispute. He also said Tuesday that there is a suspect in the shooting, but would not reveal that person’s identity. Taylor did say, however, that the suspect has retained an attorney. He also said investigators are attempting to get a statement in writing from the suspect about the incident.
Smith’s death is the second fatal shooting to occur in Union County in less than a month.
On Wednesday, Sept. 14, the lifeless body of Kenneth “Kenny” C. Therell, 38, 414 C Street, Jonesville, was found lying in the road on Upper Pump Hollow, a dead end road off Pump Hollow Road in Jonesville.
Therell was pronounced dead at the scene and an autopsy performed on his body the next determined his death was a homicide.
The autopsy found that the cause of death was a single gunshot wound to the head.
The case is being investigated by the Sheriff’s Office, the Jonesville Police Department, and SLED which dispatched its Crime Scene Unit to assist in the gathering of evidence.
Taylor said Tuesday that the investigation is continuing and that his office is waiting on the results of some evidence analyzed by SLED. He said that SLED has been delayed in getting those results to his office because of Hurricane Matthew.
Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090.