LINCOLNVILLE -- Two unsolved homicides just hours apart and separated by a few miles do not appear to be related, authorities said Tuesday.
-- At about 8:50 p.m. Monday, 19-year-old William Michael Cummings Jr. of Moncks Corner was shot in his chest at Azalea Park Apartments on Orangeburg Road.
-- At about 7:30 a.m. Tuesday, the body of Marquis Richardson, 25, of Johns Island was found beside railroad tracks that run parallel to Lincolnville Road. Charleston County Deputy Coroner Scott Ramsey said Richardson died of a gunshot wound to the head.
Richardson's death is being probed by the Charleston County Sheriff's Office, and the Cummings death by the Dorchester County Sheriff's Office.
Dorchester County Sheriff's Maj. John Garrison said Dorchester sent deputies Tuesday to where Richardson was found, but no connection could be made between the two killings.
Garrison said Cummings was shot while near a parked car, and managed to get into the car, which was driven by a friend. The driver took the car a distance from the apartments and called 911, but Cummings was dead by the time help arrived.
Investigators don't know why Cummings was at the apartments, or why he was shot, Garrison said.
Many questions also remain concerning the Richardson murder, Charleston County Sheriff's Office Maj. Jim Brady said. Brady said it's not known why Richardson was in the Lincolnville area when he was shot at close range.
Lincolnville residents said Tuesday the Richardson killing stirs up memories of two other locally infamous crimes. In January of last year, 20-year-old Larry Jerome Cook of Summerville was found shot to death near the tracks, in woods less than a mile from Tuesday's incident. An arrest was made.
In May, 2007, Constable Robert Bailey, 67, was shot and killed by Walter Fayall III, 27, of St. Stephen, during a traffic stop in Lincolnville. In attempts to cover up the crime, Fayall and friend took Bailey's car to Summerville and burned it and scattered his belongings along Interstate 26. His body was buried in Orangeburg County, but discovered several days later. Fayall and two others are serving prison time.
Some Lincolnville residents insisted Tuesday that their town is peaceful, save for the occasional criminal acts of outsiders. "Every once in a blue moon something like that happens," lamented Devin Anderson, a barber at Cuts on the Avenue, at 679 Lincolnville Road.
Fletcher Williams of Pickens Street in Lincolnville resents the fact that killers from other communities make Lincolnville "the dumping ground" for their victims.
"I think there needs to be a little more of a police presence here," Williams said.