Authorities in South Carolina said a safe haven for people who allegedly used drugs turned into a crime scene after a man fatally shot five men at the home.
Police officers, sheriff's deputies and the Spartanburg County Coroner responded to the residence in Inman around 7:46 p.m. on Oct. 9 and discovered the victims, WHNS reported.
Four of the men, Thomas Anderson, 37, Adam Morley, 32, Mark Hewitt, 59, James Derek Baldwin, 49, were pronounced dead at the scene.
The fifth victim, 19-year-old Roman Christean Megael Rocha, was rushed to an area hospital, where he later died from his gunshot injuries.
The suspect in the case, James Douglas Drayton, allegedly fled the scene and headed to Georgia, where he is accused of holding up a convenience store in Burke County around 4:25 a.m. with the same gun he used in the South Carolina killings, Spartanburg County Sheriff Chuck Wright said.
While allegedly fleeing in a car with cash he stole from the business, law enforcement spotted Drayton and gave chase.
According to officials, Drayton crashed his vehicle and got into a lengthy foot pursuit with officers, who were able to apprehend him.
After he was taken into custody, Sheriff Wright said Drayton confessed to the crimes and the suspect allegedly told detectives he had not slept for four days after using methamphetamine.
Drayton was being held in the Burke County detention center in Georgia, where he faces charges in connection with the robbery incident.
He is also expected to be charged with multiple counts of murder and weapons possession for the South Carolina crime, which Wright called “the largest single murder” that’s ever occured in Spartanburg County.
“I don’t know if we’ll ever win the war on drugs, but that ain’t got nothing to do with the fight we’re gonna bring to you,” the sheriff said, highlighting that the five men killed during the incident were victims despite any problems they may have once battled.
“God still loves us even if we make dumb choices,” he said.
Become a Front Page Detective
Sign up to receive breaking
Front Page Detectives
news and exclusive investigations.