SPARTANBURG COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) – Four men have been charged in connection to a deadly apartment shooting that happened in mid-March.
We previously reported that Spartanburg County deputies responded to Quail Pointe Apartments just after 4 p.m. on March 13 in reference to several people with firearms that were seen in the parking lot of the apartment complex.
While on the way to the apartment complex, deputies were told that several shots had been fired.
Once deputies arrived on scene, they found a large crowd of people and a female in the parking lot with a gunshot wound to the head.
The Spartanburg County Coroner’s Office identified the victim as 21-year-old Paris Janai Kennedy, of Spartanburg.
Kennedy was pronounced dead at the scene.
“21-years-old, just started her life, pretty much, just starting adulthood,” said Sheriff Wright.
Deputies said they located approximately 117 spent shell casings in the parking lot of the apartment complex.
According to the sheriff’s office, Kennedy was at the apartment complex to watch a group of girls fight, which had been talked about on social media.
“She shouldn’t have been at the fight for sure… but she didn’t do anything to deserve death,” Sheriff Wright said.
The sheriff’s office charged the following people with murder and possession of a weapon during a violent crime:
- Zechariah James Utecht, 19, of Greer
- Napoleon Demajcea Rhodes, 20, of Spartanburg
- Seven Terrell Keenon, 20, of Duncan
- Tyrease Sherrod Martinez, 21, of Taylors
Martinez, Rhodes and Keenon are being held in the Spartanburg County Detention Center. Utecht is in custody in Alpina, Michigan where he fled following the shooting.
Utecht is scheduled to have an extradition hearing in Michigan on April 14, 2022.
“It was over a fight between girls. A 21-year-old lady was shot and killed, and I want you to know that this is unacceptable in our community,” said Sheriff Wright.
Sheriff Wright said witnesses are not coming forward.
“I get it when people say I’m afraid to talk, but what you do when you talk to us is you help us get these people off the streets, and you don’t have to fear them anymore,” he said.
He said the community needs to do better.
“But if you do not help us get these people off the street, you absolutely could be next. Because, there was a girl shot in the head and killed, and nobody is saying anything. Do you want people to do that if you happen to be the one to catch a round like that?” he said.
Based upon forensic evidence and witness statements, the sheriff’s office believes that this incident was a shootout between two groups of males. Kennedy was not a participant in this incident.
The investigation is still ongoing but the sheriff said more charges may be forth coming.
Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call Jon Guest at (864) 503-4595.
Sheriff Wright said witness withholding information could end up facing charges themselves, and there are ways to anonymously report what you know.