GREENVILLE, S.C. Aug 30 2014—Two South Carolina security officers have been found murdered in the parking lot of a vacant textile plant that they were guarding.
The coroner, late Friday has released the names of the security officers who were both murdered, but the exact method of death is not being released. Initially reports were that it was a shooting, but the coroner has not yet confirmed that. Both men have multiple injuries, according to the coroner.
Bobby Wayne Wood, 65, of Pelzer, and Richard Thomas Ellison, 53, Greenville, were found dead early Friday morning at vacant Hollingsworth textile plant on Laurens Road near Millennium Boulevard.
Deputy Jonathan Smith said the bodies were found at about 3:30 a.m. by a woman who was delivering newspapers and saw the two bodies at the Hollingsworth property on Laurens Road near Millennium Boulevard.
Smith said the victims’ bodies were outside the guard station at the gate of the plant.
By 10 a.m., multiple K-9 units were at the scene. Smith said the dogs are being used to help search the 60-acre property and multiple buildings to help deputies gather any possible evidence. At about 11:45 a.m., there was also a police helicopter over the location.
The plant, which manufactured textile machinery, closed in December 2009. The property is privately owned and guarded 24 hours a day by two security guards.
When asked if the community should be concerned about a shooter, Smith said, “We understand the concern since there is no suspect information.” He said people should “be aware” and that if anyone saw anything unusual during the early morning hours or overnight at the plant, they should call 23-CRIME.
News 4 was not able to get in touch with Ellison’s family, but we did speak to Wood’s daughter, Tricia Graettinger. She said, “My daddy was a Vietnam veteran. He was a very humble man and a good father. And we will miss him.” Graettinger said the family has a lot of questions.
“I don’t understand it. I don’t know why anyone would hurt him. I don’t know what the motive is,” said Graettinger.
Smith said it was not immediately known if the guards who work at the property were armed or unarmed.
Smith said the shooting may have happened during a shift change.
He said once the coroner determines the time of death, investigators will backtrack to determine the events leading up to the shooting.