1-year-old boy and his father killed in Beatty Downs Road shooting

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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WOLO)– A young father and his toddler are dead and now RCSD is asking for the community to help find who is responsible.

Tyreen Williams was not 2-years old yet, his birthday is just three days away. But now a family is mourning the loss of the toddler and his father. The mother, completely heartbroken.

“She’s devastated. I spoke with her about an hour ago in my office. This is something we don’t typically see. A young child dying of a gunshot wound. Such violence,” Kevin Isenhoward said, a Lt. with Richland County Sheriff’s Department. 

Yellow caution tape still surrounds the apartment building where deputies found James McDowell, 23, laying in the yard with multiple gunshot wounds. Crews were responding to the apartment on the 100 block of Beatty Downs after a neighbor heard McDowell screaming for help. 

The report says once EMS arrived on scene, they found the body of his son, Tyren Williams, who died from a gunshot wound. McDowell died on the way to the hospital.

“In a lot of the cases we work, my unit– homicides, the victims aren’t always 100% innocent. And there’s no question in this case that the 2-year-old is 100% innocent. And it motivates us to do our job and do it quickly,” Isenhoward said.

Investigators believe the shooting happened inside the apartment and McDowell walked outside to call for help. RCSD Deputies would not share any more details, like how many suspects they are looking for or how many guns were involved. Neighbors are scared this is gang related. Tay Brunson just moved into the neighborhood two weeks ago, but now after this incident, he’s moving out.

“It made me very nervous, that’s why I’m, right now, in the process of packing my stuff to move back to go back to where I came from,” Brunson said. 

Deputies say this was an Isolated incident and no one needs to be in fear. However, they admit the area has had crime in the past, and the narcotics unit is actively involved in the neighborhood. Right now, investigators are questioning the roommate who they say was not present at the time of the shooting, and are considering all possibilities.

“I can’t recall a child of this age dying of gunshot wounds in my 20 years here,” Isenhoward said. 

“Well, I have a 2-year-old granddaughter, I love her to death. I mean, if they were to call me and tell me something like that happened I don’t know I would react,” Dorothea Simmons said.

McDowell had shared custody of Tyren and the toddler was just there for the week. RCSD is asking for the community’s help to make sure justice is brought to the loss of such young lives.