JASPER CO., SC (WTOC) - A man is dead in Ridgeland after a shooting at the Midway Village Mobile Home Park off of Highway 170 near Okatie. The victim was 30-year-old Alexander Smith Jr.
WTOC's Georgiaree Godfrey sat down with the victim's family, who say it will be hard to move on from this tragedy.
According to witnesses and neighbors, an argument took place between two males and then escalated. That's when shots rang out just before midnight.
The Jasper County Sheriff's Office responded to the Midway Village Mobile Home Park and found one person dead. That person, Alexander Smith, was a beloved son, cousin and father.
"I thought he was an awesome person, was never in any trouble," Smith's family said. "He worked hard, he was a very sweet person, very respectable, a good dad and he's not one of those guys you see around here sagging. He didn't like that when they be sagging."
Smith had only been in the Ridgeland area for a few days, having spent the last year living in Savannah with a girlfriend. His mother Vernettra Singleton never thought it would be his last trip.
"He told me this time he was staying, he wasn't going back this time," said Vernettra. "And I thought that was going to be, you know, I never knew it was going to lead to this. Not A.J. I just don't get it. If only he knew what he took from us. He did something that did not even have to be done. It is going to be hard to forgive this man, or whoever it was, because right now I don't. I know justice will be served, and the Bible says you will reap what you sow."
Smith leaves behind a 10-year-old daughter, Alexis Washington. She says his last words to her involved strengthening their relationship.
"He called me that night," said Alexis. "He said that he's going to stop breaking promises and start coming to see me more."
For the person responsible, the family wants them to know that losing Alexander tears the family apart.
"That breaks my heart that she got to grow up without a daddy, it's not fair," said Alexander's cousin Diamond Orr.
Officers have identified a suspect and are continuing to gather evidence and information in this case. The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division has been called in to help investigate.