Murder suspect shot by neighbor responding to cries for help

by: Greg Suskin Updated:


LANCASTER COUNTY, S.C. - Lancaster police expect to charge 29-year-old Jermaine Grier with murder. They said on Tuesday night Grier shot and killed his brother-in-law James Hood, 48, in his apartment on Caroline Court.
Grier had spent all day with family members, but at some point shot James Hood, then threatened other family members if they called 911.
James Hood's wife, Angela Hood, told Channel 9 Grier is her younger brother. She said he had made some disturbing comments recently.
"He said he wanted to kill himself, or get life in prison," Angela Hood said. "We told him to quit talking crazy."
James Hood was in a wheelchair after suffering a recent stroke.  
"I don't know why this happened," Angela Hood said. "There was no reason."
About 20 minutes after the shooting on Caroline Court, Roger Lowery awoke to a chilling sound on west Brooklyn Avenue, only a few blocks away.
He heard a woman screaming for help from his front porch. He flipped on his light and stepped outside.
"He was beating her on my front porch and he was trying to shove her head through that glass door," Lowery said.
The young woman was Grier's cousin, who lived across the street from Lowery. Sheriff's deputies said shortly after the homicide Grier had shown up at the woman’s house with a gun, attacked his cousin and shot at her.

Grier then chased her across the street to Lowery's home where she tried to get help. Deputies said he continued to assault her.
Lowery knew nothing of the homicide, only that a woman was being hurt right at his door.
"I had to help her. I sure would've wanted someone to help me," he said.
He grabbed his 38 revolver and pointed it at Grier's head, telling him to stop and leave. Grier refused after being told repeatedly.
Lowery said at some point Grier tried to enter his home and at the same time he learned Grier also had a gun.
“I backed into my house to get out of the situation, to try and diffuse it, and he came into my house after me and when he did I shot him," Lowery said.
He said Grier got up with a gunshot wound to his stomach, went back across the street, tossed his gun in the woods, then returned to Grier’s porch, where he waited until EMS and police arrived.
Lowery told Channel 9 he's no hero and he did everything he could to avoid shooting Grier, even punching him first, and hoping to just overpower him and hold him until police arrived.
“I just did what I had to do to save my family's life and keep that girl from dying," he said. "I didn't want to have to use any weapons at all."
Lowery will not face charges in the shooting, as the solicitor quickly determined he was protecting his family and his home.
Grier was released from prison June 2. Channel 9 learned that time was added to his sentence due to bad behavior while there, according to the Department of Corrections.

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