Mystery of Summerville man’s shooting death solved, according to SLED

A Summerville man who was found shot to death in a wooded area nearly a year and a half ago staged the scene to look like a robbery and then killed himself, according to the State Law Enforcement Division.

Thomas Eugean Hancock, 57, of Trolley Road was found dead near his green Dodge Ram in the Branchville area shortly before 5 p.m. on Oct. 24, 2013, according to an incident report from the Bamberg County Sheriff’s Office.

The Sheriff’s Office called in SLED to determine if it was a homicide.

The case was puzzling because Hancock appeared to have been shot in the chest while changing the right rear tire on his truck. His wallet was a distance from the body, with money scattered in several places. On the other hand, a 12-gauge shotgun was near his body.

SLED released the report Tuesday under the state’s Freedom of Information Act.

Investigators concluded that Hancock let the air of out of the tire, staged the scene to make it look like a robbery and then shot himself. The report noted that his sister had killed herself, and Hancock died on her birthday.

Reach Dave Munday at 937-5553.