• Former MLB player shot, killed at his Lancaster home

    By: Greg Suskin

    Updated:

    LANCASTER, S.C.,None - Lancaster police said a man was shot and killed in the front yard of a home after an argument early Tuesday.

    Officers found Danny Clyburn Jr. dead of an apparent gunshot wound in front of the house on North Market Street around 2 a.m.

    Danny Clyburn Sr. remembers when his son Danny Jr. was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates right out of high school in 1992.

    "He kept the faith and he made it. He proved me wrong and he made it," Clyburn said.

    On Tuesday afternoon, Clyburn said he was in shock at news of his son’s death.

    "I got a call last night that he was just gone," he said.

    SLIDESHOW: Photos of Clyburn from MLB career

    Clyburn was there with a large group of friends.  

    Neighbors said many of them were drinking. Neighbors heard loud talking and loud music, as well as a gunshot, but thought nothing of it. Clyburn was found dead in the grass next to a parked car. 

    A woman there told to police that Derrick McIlwain had shot him.

    Hours later, 36-year-old McIlwain turned himself in to the Lancaster County Sheriff's Department. He was charged with murder.

    SLIDESHOW: Scene of deadly shooting in Lancaster

    Long-time friends of Clyburn and McIlwain cannot believe what happened. Javon McCain knew Clyburn and McIlwain well.  "We were all friends, all of us," he said. "For him to just kill him, you know, that's crazy."

    Police said there was an argument, but it's not clear how it turned violent. 

    Clyburn was a celebrity in Lancaster, where friends and family followed his baseball career.

    "We played games, played sports. I looked up to him because he played major league baseball," McCain said.

    Clyburn was drafted after leaving Lancaster High School. He played baseball for the Baltimore Orioles and Tampa Bay Rays in the late ‘90s.

    He was not the only baseball talent in the Lancaster family either. Cousin Jon Barnes was drafted by the San Diego Padres in 1991, and another cousin, Mark Anthony, was also drafted by the Padres.

    Family members said Clyburn was a power hitter and good outfielder.

    Following his time in the majors, he played minor league ball for several years and then started working for an organization in California that teaches kids the game.

    He had come home for just a few weeks on vacation. He had only been home for three days when he was shot.

    "I'm just shocked when I think about it," his father said.  "I'm dealing with it, but when I think about it, it makes me want to break down. I'm trying to hold up."

    Police officers are still investigating and talking to witnesses. They will not comment on the murder weapon or say where Clyburn was shot.

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