Authorities don't want to speculate on why a 67-year-old man, who had been jailed two days earlier on a criminal domestic violence charge, shot his 16-year-old grandson before turning the gun on himself on Saturday.
The incident happened at about 5:30 p.m. on Saturday at 923 Whaley Pond Road, according to a sheriff's report.
Witnesses said Ronald W. Wilson, 67, of 925 Whaley Pond Road, went to the home of his estranged wife and shot his grandson, Gerald W. Wilson Jr., according to the Aiken County Coroner's Office.
Wilson's wife was able to flag down a passing deputy, who saw Wilson take his own life, according to reports. Gerald Wilson's live-in girlfriend was in the home at the time but escaped unharmed with the grandmother.
Wilson's wife told officers Wilson was “shooting at her,” the incident report stated.
Officers found Ronald Wilson at the end of the driveway beside the road with a gunshot wound to the head, according to the report. Gerald Wilson was found inside the home with a gunshot wound to the head.
The incident is still being investigated by the Aiken County Sheriff's Office.
“We generally don't say or go into what the motive is,” said Capt. Eric Abdullah, a Sheriff's Office spokesman. “It's a tragic event. Our sole goal is to ensure we get all the questions answered and not jump to any conclusions or speculate too early without having all our facts located.”
Gerald Wilson was a junior at Midland Valley High School, according to his obituary, which also said he was loyal to and protective of his family.
“Even on this fateful day, he proved his loyalty for his loved ones by stepping in and giving his life for those he loved,” the obituary stated.
Ronald Wilson was detained for criminal domestic violence following an incident at the same home just two days earlier, according to the Sheriff's Office. His wife told officers she and her husband got into an argument over the phone regarding a pet, and that Wilson appeared at her home with a small, black handgun several minutes later.
Wilson then entered the home and stood in the front doorway without saying anything or pointing the handgun at anyone, the report stated. The wife was afraid Wilson would shoot her or someone else in the home and called 911, at which point Wilson fled on foot.
He was found sitting in a chair on the porch of a home nearby, according to the report. He became belligerent and refused to comply when officers gave him verbal commands. Wilson, who smelled strongly of alcohol and had slurred speech, eventually complied, according to police.
Wilson told officers he got into a verbal argument with his wife over a bill, police said. He admitted to entering the home with a handgun but said that was “a regular occurrence.”
“The deputy spoke to the wife and determined there was probable cause to make an arrest of criminal domestic violence-first,” Abdullah said.
Officers tried to locate the gun but were unable to.
Teddy Kulmala covers the crime and courts beat for the Aiken Standard and has been with the newspaper since August 2012.
He is a native of Williston and majored in communication studies at Clemson University.