Composite Sketch Released in Bar Murder
Lexington County, S.C. (LCSD/WOLO) — Lexington County Sheriff‘s Department detectives on Friday, February 7, released a composite sketch of an unidentified man who fatally shot a 31-year-old Brandon Ratliff. Authorities say the incident happened the morning of Sunday, February 2, while Ratliff tried to mediate a dispute that involved several persons outside the Cockpit Bar & Grill on Berryhill Road in the St. Andrews community. Lexington County Sheriff James R. Metts said detectives are seeking assistance from citizens in identifying the man who is depicted in the composite sketch, which was prepared by a forensic artist with the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED). A witness met with the SLED forensic artist and provided a detailed physical description of the man whom the witness saw fatally shoot Ratliff. The witness told detectives that the man who fatally shot Ratliff was an African-American, between the ages of 22 and 28, weighing about 140 pounds, Metts said. The witness told detectives that the suspect was between 5-foot-5 and 5-foot-6, had his hair braided in shoulder-length dreadlocks and had gold on his bottom teeth. The man was last seen wearing a white t-shirt and blue jeans. Metts asked anyone with information about the man who fatally shot Ratliff or the fatal shooting itself to contact the Lexington County Sheriff‘s Department at (803) 785-8230 or CrimeStoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC. Citizens also can provide information anonymously by accessing the Crime Tip link on the Sheriff‘s Department web site (www.lexingtonsheriff.com). The circumstances of the fatal shooting of Ratliff remain under investigation, Metts said. Detectives also are continuing to investigate the nature of the dispute that Ratliff was trying to mediate when Ratliff was shot once in his upper torso with a firearm. After he was fatally shot, Ratliff was transported in a privately owned motor vehicle to Lexington Medical Center, where Ratliff was pronounced dead, Metts said.