The Homicide of Freddie Markell Byrd



Today, the Clinton Police Department named Khalid Asiatic Cunningham - Apprehended - Malik Antonio Copeland and Detravious Samon Cheeks, all of Clinton, as Homicide Suspects.

They are arrested / wanted on connection of the April 4 shooting death of Freddie Markell Byrd, also of Clinton. The individuals still to be caught are to be considered ARMED & DANGEROUS, according to the Clinton Police Department.

A CPD announcement said: "The Clinton Police Department is currently seeking to arrest the listed individuals in reference to the homicide of Freddie Markell Byrd which occurred in the early morning hours on April 4th, 2020. ... Do Not Approach. Please call Capt. Tyrone Goggins at 864-833-7512, 911 or Crime Stoppers at 68-crime if you can provided any information or location on these individuals."

Facebook postings have said that just before Freddie Byrd died, he posted pleas to stop Gun Violence in Clinton. Previous reports said he and others were at a house party in Clinton - prior to the governor's stay at home order to fight the Coronavirus - when the shooting that took Byrd's life occurred. There apparently was some confusion as to whether this order designed to prevent mass-gathering could be enforced on private property.

PREVIOUS, The Chronicle 4-8-20:



Clinton man shot to death; at a party, gun activist says


Authorities have identified Freddie Markell Byrd, 31, of North Bell St., Clinton, as an early Saturday morning shooting victim.

An Upstate anti-gun violence advocate says it happened during a block party. Social media posts say Byrd was a father, and a former #25 for Clinton High Red Devil football.

An autopsy was conducted Monday (autopsy reports are not public documents in South Carolina).

Laurens County Assistant Coroner Patti Canupp said Byrd’s body was found on Friendship Drive, Clinton. A report said the homicide scene was 104 Friendship Dr., and time of the incident was 2 a.m. Saturday. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene.

“Last night, Freddy Bird was murdered at a block party in the city of Clinton, South Carolina. People are calling me stating police came out there due to music being loud and should have broken the party up due to the Coronavirus, but if it was at a home, I don't think they can,” said Jack Logan, founder of Put Down the Guns Now Young People Organization.

Investigation is being conducted by the Clinton Police Department and the State Law Enforcement Division; the CPD phone number is (864) 833-7512 for any information pertaining to this incident.

No arrest(s) have been announced.

In a separate report, authorities identified Andrew Kyle Abercrombie, 30, of Palmetto St., and Quantez Lee McGowan, 20, of South Bell St., both Clinton, as shooting into a dwelling suspects. The arrests were made Friday, and alleged incident happened April 3. 

McGowan also was charged with possessing 58 1/2 dosage units of the party drug, Ecstasy, a report said. His bond was set at $70,000 on the shooting charge and $15,000 for possession with intent (also charged with simple possession of marijuana).

Abercrombie had his bond denied.


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