Investigators search for suspect in Hampton Co. triple homicide

HAMPTON CO., SC (WTOC) - Three people are dead and no suspect has been identified after a triple shooting in Hampton County, South Carolina.

"Three," said Sandra Fennell, who works in Varnville. "It's scary. It makes you fear for your life at your job and at home."

Hampton County Sheriff's deputies found Frankie Johnson, Jr., Ghazia Duckett and Lamekia Warren shot to death Sunday morning on Priscilla Lane in Varnville, and Sheriff Thomas Smalls says investigators are working lots of leads in the case.

Smalls says tips from the community are helping deputies piece the case together, and he says they are working around the clock to find the person or people responsible for the triple homicide. He couldn't say Monday if the killings were targeted.

"It's just so random, like bam," said Jessie Dobson, who lives in Varnville. "All of a sudden, you hear about killings here, killings there, and wow, you know them."

Dobson has lived in Varnville most of his life and did know one of the three people killed.

"He was just a good guy," Dobson said. "It's hard to believe. It just seems so random. Maybe they went to the wrong place or something because this guy was that good."

Both Dobson and Fennell said crimes in Varnville seem to be getting more deadly and happening more frequently.

"Seems to be getting worse, worse," Fennell said.

"Seems like the little old town seems to have more and more chaos in it. People around us are going 'Woah! Lock your doors. Keep the lookout' where it used to be a screen-door town," Dobson said.

Dobson and Fennell said they want those responsible caught, justice served, and senseless killings stopped.

Sheriff Smalls said more details about the case could be released as soon as Tuesday and said this is an active investigation.

If you know anything that could help, there are many ways to contact law enforcement anonymously.

You can call the sheriff's office at 803.914.2200, the toll-free tip line at 866.942.1120, Hampton County Dispatch at 803.943.9261, South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) at 803.896.7133. You can also email information to or speak to someone in person.

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