CHESTER, S.C. - Police are investigating a homicide after a man was shot to death late Thursday night in Chester following a visit with his grandmother.
Detectives told Channel 9 that the victim was found shot in a yard just before 11 p.m. on Saluda Street near Foote Street.
He was flown to Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte but died on the way, according to the county coroner.
Family members told Channel 9 on Friday that the victim was 22-year-old Ankee Pendergrass and that he had been walking home after checking on his grandmother Thursday night. They said they have no idea what led to his murder.
Shirley McClurkin, Pendergrass’s aunt, said she can’t believe he’s gone.
"He didn't deserve what happened to him," McClurkin said. “Ten minutes after leaving his grandmother’s house, seeing his grandmother, we get phone calls."
Channel 9 has been told that Pendergrass was shot multiple times. Neighbors said they heard gunfire from more than a block away.
"I thought it was something like, like, during war,” neighbor Carlos Williams said. “Because it was an automatic weapon."
Williams is a member of the City Council, and said he knew Pendergrass and his family. He said he’s shocked by what happened to the former Chester High School football player.
"He comes from an outstanding family, a family that loves him and supports him," Williams said.
A neighbor who wished to remain anonymous told Channel 9 that she heard six shots on Saluda Street and looked out her window.
“I saw, like, three guys come out of that house, jump in a car and take off," she said.
Eyewitness News reporter Greg Suskin noticed a BMW near the location of the shooting with what appeared to be bullet holes through the windshield. Channel 9 was told that the vehicle wasn't involved in the shooting, but was parked near where it happened.
Chester police said they have no information on a motive, or on who might have killed Pendergrass. Officials would not discuss any evidence found at the scene.
Channel 9 learned that Pendergrass had some pending drug charges, but investigators said they don't know if the shooting was connected to them.
Chester police said they need more information from witnesses and took to social media Friday to ask for the public's help in obtaining details about the murder.
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