Police search for killer after man shot outside SC store

by: Kathryn Burcham Updated:


CHERAW, S.C. - A community is asking for help to find a killer after a father of two was gunned down outside a South Carolina tobacco store.

Police said Jamal Gainey, 25, was killed Sunday night as he was sitting in his car outside Jay's Tobacco, on Second Street in Cheraw, S.C.

"The gunman ran up to the car, pointed a gun inside and fired one round, which struck Mr. Gainey in the right side," said Cheraw Police Chief Keith Thomas.

Investigators said Gainey had driven two of his friends to the store to purchase a pack of cigarettes just before 11 p.m. when he was shot.

"There's somebody out there that knows what happened, and we need them to come forward," Thomas said.

Gainey's girlfriend, Nicole Davis, told Eyewitness News Gainey had called her minutes before his murder.

"I told him, I said, 'Jamal, be careful, be safe,'" Davis said through tears. "And he said, 'Well babe, I'm gonna call you back in five minutes.'"

Police said they don't know if Gainey was targeted or if it was a random attack. They said the shooter was wearing a black, hooded sweatshirt and was seen leaving the scene in a white, newer model four-door sedan, possibly a Chevrolet Malibu or a Buick.

Davis said Gainey, who was the father to her 2-year-old daughter and 1-year-old son, was an avid piano player and loved karate.

"My little girl asks about him every day. There's no way to explain to her that he's gone," Davis said. "I wish the killer would come forward, to give my daughter justice, my kids -- not just me."

Friends and family are planning a vigil on Friday, where they will march from Jay's Tobacco to the Cheraw Police Department, starting at 5 p.m.

Anyone with information on Gainey's murder should contact SLED or the Cheraw Police Department.