Shooting kills 1, injures another; investigators believe it was drug-related

  • Posted: Wednesday, November 7, 2012 11:36 p.m.
    UPDATED: Thursday, November 8, 2012 7:20 a.m.

The Aiken County Sheriff’s Office is investigating an early-morning shooting on Wednesday that left one man dead and another injured.

The shooting happened on Balltown Drive around 1 a.m. Wednesday, according to a sheriff’s report.

Thomas Octavis Johnson, 27, was transported to Georgia Health Sciences University, according to a report. He died of multiple gunshot wounds, according to Aiken County Coroner Tim Carlton.

Morris Dorch, 25, was treated at Aiken Regional Medical Centers. His condition was not available.

Dorch, who was reportedly driving the vehicle, told officers they were sitting in his 1996 Ford Explorer at the corner of Balltown Drive and Jack Jones Street around 1 a.m. when his vehicle was shot multiple times, according to the report. He said his vehicle wasn’t starting but that he finally got it started, “and that’s when he heard gunshots and thought that someone was shooting into the air,” the report stated.

Dorch said he realized the shots were hitting his vehicle and took off Jack Jones Street toward S.C. 19. Johnson, the passenger, wasn’t speaking and slumped over onto Dorch when he made the turn onto S.C. 19, according to the report.

Broken glass and shell casings were found at the scene by investigators, according to the statement.

Capt. Troy Elwell said the investigation is in its early stages but is believed to be drug-related. No suspects have been identified, and limited information is available.

Dorch was accused of shooting and killing a man with an assault rifle in September 2007, according to an article in the April 6, 2009, edition of the Aiken Standard. He was considered at-large until he was stopped for a traffic violation in DeKalb County, Ga., in April 2009.

The charges were later dismissed.

Anyone with information about this crime is asked to call the Sheriff’s office at (800) 922-9709 or CrimeStoppers of the Midlands at (888) CRIME-SC. Callers can remain anonymous and will be eligible for a cash reward between $50 and $1,000.

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