Courts & Crime

Body found dangling on fence hours after gunfire was reported

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Residents of Columbia's quiet Belvedere community awoke Sunday morning to the sight of a bullet-riddled body draped over a chain-link fence in the side yard of a vacant single-story brick house.

Authorities said the dead man — whose body was plainly visible to anyone passing on Belvedere Drive — was 21 years old but declined to publicly identify him until relatives had been notified.

The body had apparently been dangling from the fence at 3601 Belvedere Drive all night, said neighbors, including one who viewed the body before Columbia police — including Chief Tandy Carter — arrived.

The Belvedere community, which includes Burton-Pack Elementary School, consists of several hundred single-family homes and is located just off Two Notch Road and West Beltline Boulevard.

A flurry of gunfire Saturday night about 10:30 p.m. had erupted on Belvedere Drive. At least one neighbor called police at the time. Next morning, the body was discovered.

“The dead man’s arm was laying on top of the fence,” said Douglas Brooks, 34, a city worker who lives several houses away. “His eyes were open.”

A pistol was wedged between the dead man’s knee and the fence, Brooks said.

Brooks went to view the body when an anxious neighbor came to his house after 9 a.m. Sunday and asked him to come see what was the matter with the man on the fence.

When he arrived, the condition of the body made it obvious that the man had been dead some time, Brooks said.

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