One of South Carolina’s most historic towns was rocked by a reported double homicide and subsequent arson incident sometime Sunday morning, multiple sources in Camden, S.C. are confirming to this news outlet.
The incident reportedly occurred shortly after 5:00 a.m. EST in Camden’s historic district at a home located on the southeast corner of Lyttleton and Chestnut streets. All of the homes in this upscale area are “large, circa 1800s” residences, one local source told us.
“Big yards with old stables and barns in backyards,” the source said.
The home in question is located at 1615 Lyttleton Street. According to our sources, it sustained extensive damage due to fire in the aftermath of the reported slayings.
“The house was badly burned,” one witness told us.
It is not yet clear whether a suspect is in custody in connection with the violence, however we have received several unconfirmed reports that the situation has been “resolved.”
According to our sources, police have blocked off a rental residence located on a nearby property as part of their ongoing investigation into this incident. That property is located near the intersection of Broad and Carrison streets – roughly two blocks away from the home that was burned.
We are reaching out to local law enforcement agencies for additional information. Our news outlet has been provided with the identities of two alleged victims, both reportedly deceased, but we are declining to publish this information pending confirmation from authorities.
Tommy Crosby – a spokesperson for the S.C. State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) – confirmed to our news outlet that statewide law enforcement agents were on the ground in Camden, S.C. “supporting local law enforcement” in connection with what he termed a “fatal fire.”
“We are assisting local authorities in a fatal fire investigation,” Crosby confirmed to this news outlet.
Several neighborhood residents told us they were disappointed by an alleged lack of notification on the part of local law enforcement.
“No one ever locks (their) doors in the historic district and the cops didn’t see fit to let people know a murderer was on the loose?” one resident told us.
Camden is oldest inland city in South Carolina, tracing its history back to the 1730s – a generation before the American Revolution. Home to an estimated 7,300 people, the town is located along the Wateree River – approximately 32 miles northeast of the capital city of Columbia, S.C.
The town played host to a pair of Revolutionary War battles between colonial and British forces – the Battle of Camden in August 1780 and the Battle of Hobkirk’s Hill in 1781.
Last spring, Camden was the original epicenter of South Carolina’s coronavirus outbreak. One of its most well-known residents, lobbyist John C. “Jack” West III, was among the first citizens of the Palmetto State to succumb to the virus.
UPDATE: The paper of record in Camden, S.C. – The Chronicle-Independent – is reporting that two people were killed in a house fire at the address referenced in our report and that “foul play is suspected.”
“Our investigation does not indicate this was random,” Camden police chief Joe Floyd told the paper.
Here is the paper’s Facebook post with additional information …
UPDATE | Suspect apprehended and charged.
WANNA SOUND OFF?
Got something you’d like to say in response to one of our stories? We have an open microphone policy! Submit your own letter to the editor (or guest column) via-email HERE. Got a tip for a story? CLICK HERE. Got a technical question or a glitch to report? CLICK HERE.