Sheriff’s deputies on patrol just before 3 a.m. Wednesday morning found a 17-year-old teen lying dead in a ditch along Church Street about half a mile south of Cherrydale Elementary.
“They actually themselves observed a body near Hudson and Church Street,” Greenville County Sheriff’s Sgt. Ryan Flood said. “They got out and upon further investigation realized the victim was deceased and had suffered from at least one gunshot wound.”
Flood said the case is under investigation and officers do not yet know if the victim — Tamyah Malichi Harris of Cody Street in Greenville — was shot at the scene or if his body was dumped there.
“We are looking into any leads we can get,” Flood said, adding that anyone who knows anything should call 23-CRIME (864-232-7463).
An autopsy was set to be conducted Wednesday, according to a statement from Greenville County Senior Deputy Coroner Jeff Fowler.
Fowler’s statement said the body was found at 199 Church St., a two-lane road lined with mobile homes and 50- to 60-year-old clapboard houses. The neighborhood is on the edge of the Sans Souci community sandwiched between Poinsett Highway and Old Bumcombe Road.
Beth Brotherton, spokeswoman for Greenville County Schools, said Harris was not currently enrolled in Greenville County Schools. His home address on Cody Street off Poinsett Highway is about a mile from where his body was found.
Church Street neighbors on Wednesday afternoon said that they had heard a commotion around midnight — and one described a boom around 11:45 p.m. Ambulance lights and sirens roused the neighborhood three hours later.
“They weren’t finished until 8,” said Freddy Giles, whose house at Glass and Hudson streets backs up to Church Street. “A fire truck was blocking the road.”
Giles said he first knew something was wrong when he heard a neighbor’s pit bull dog, Low, barking at about 3 a.m. Low is chained to a tree near the corner where Harris was found.
“I’m sorry that it happened,” said Giles, who has lived in the neighborhood for five years. “When I woke, I looked from my yard. Somebody was lying in the road. No telling how long he was laying there.”
Another neighbor who declined to give her name said she often hears gunshots in the area. She has lived in her home along Church Street for three years and said that two homeless men have been found dead in the woods behind her house since she moved in.