A neighborhood block party at a Rock Hill home ended Wednesday evening with a death of a man just about to celebrate his 30th birthday this week.
Just after 9 p.m., police say Daniel Ervin, 29, was shot in the lower back outside a home on Pebble Road in Rock Hill. Ervin later died at Piedmont Medical Center in what is now the City of Rock Hill’s second homicide of the year.
A forensics unit searched the scene Thursday for clues surrounding Ervin’s death, but say they have yet to identify any suspects.
“We had folks who heard [the shooting], but nobody’s saying they saw it,” Rock Hill police spokesman Mark Bollinger said.
Wednesday’s shooting follows the September 13 death of Johnny Ellison on Green Street. In the days since, two brothers, David and Jaris Williams, have been charged in Ellison’s murder.
Bollinger, a department veteran, said efforts are underway to cut down on violent crime, but says it won’t stop everything.
“Homicides are crimes of passion,” Bollinger said, “People just get mad and sometimes, go over the top.”
Murders in Rock Hill reached their highest point in 2012, statistics show, with seven homicides reported in city limits. The previous ten-year average was five homicides a year.
“We can put our efforts into burglaries and try to look at patterns…there’s a lot of work that goes into stopping serial crimes,” Bollinger said, recalling an average of three to six homicides per year. “We just hope that the community’s efforts…will help reduce our homicides. It would be nice if we had a year with zero [homicides].”
Outside the Pebble Road home where Ervin was shot, his cousin Monique Spratt stood sweeping her driveway Thursday afternoon.
“I have a 17-year-old, 14-year-old and a ten-year-old. It really makes me feel really uncomfortable that knowing — in this hood — someone was shot,” Spratt said.
Ervin would have been 30 on Friday.
Spratt said she and her family were planning a birthday party for him, but now, they’re planning a memorial service.
“Even though he’s not here,” Spratt said, “It still hurts.”