Deputies: Father of man shot and killed outside Hartsville airport said they were in town to sell hemp

Pee Dee Crime

Joseph McLeod (Source: W. Glenn Campbell Detention Center)

DARLINGTON COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) — The father of a 29-year-old man shot and killed over the weekend near the Hartsville Regional Airport said they were in South Carolina to sell hemp and “flowers,” according to authorities.

Christopher Benton McLeod, of Carthage, North Carolina, died at a hospital after being shot on Saturday.

Darlington County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrived at the scene at 7 p.m. to find two people huddled around Christopher McLeod, who was on the ground, according to an incident report. The two people were performing CPR and keeping his head off the ground. He had been shot in the lower right side of his abdomen.

Deputies performed CPR until medical services arrived, according to the report. A small black pistol and a phone were found near him.

Joseph McLeod said he was Christopher’s father and told authorities they had flown to the airport so his son could sell “hemp” and “flowers.”  Many people in the hemp industry refer to the actual plant with the bud as “flower.”

The McLeods were waiting to hear from suspects to make the transaction when Joseph McLeod told his son he had a bad feeling and wanted them to go, according to the report. Christopher McLeod then met with the suspects, and Joseph said he heard a gunshot and his son yell.

Authorities found a pistol in elder McLeod’s pocket, along with a pocket knife, according to the report. He was then arrested for warrants for weapons violations charges.

Authorities found a .22 caliber cartridge on him when he was being admitted into the W. Glenn Campbell Detention Center, according to arrest warrants. Ammunition is not allowed inside of jails. He did not have a concealed weapons permit from North or South Carolina.

He was booked on charges of furnishing contraband at a county or municipal prison, the unlawful carrying of a weapon, attempt and conspiracy provision drug law and for manufacturing or possessing another scheduled substance. He has received $15,000 in bond.

He has since been released.

SLED initially provided support to local authorities, but authorities in Darlington are leading the investigation.

Shootings are listed even if no one was injured in the incident. For some shootings, a specific address was not provided by police, and the marker will show a city center or an approximate area as the location of the incident.

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