Neighbors in disbelief after 14-year-old shoots and kills woman in Lancaster

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LANCASTER, S.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) – A 14-year-old boy has been charged with murder after a woman was found shot to death inside a Lancaster County home on Monday, according to the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office.

A spokesperson for the Lancaster Sheriff’s Office tells FOX 46 the victim and alleged suspect knew each other. As for a motive, the department is not commenting at this time.

The call for help came in at 6:41 p.m. on Monday. The caller said shots had been fired. Randolph Barnes lives close by and says he didn’t hear the shots but saw a lot of police activity when he went into his backyard.

“All I see is the house that this took place at it was taped off,” added Barnes. “The house next door to it, there a was a car next to it, that had it taped off.”

Investigators searched 2701 Quiet Acres Road and found the victim, Veronica McIlwain, 44, on the living room floor. Lancaster County Coroner Karla Deese and Deputy Coroner Joey Edwards responded to the scene. In a statement, the coroner says McIlwain suffered multiple gunshot wounds and was pronounced dead on the scene. 

Deputies searched the property and then went to a convenience store in Lancaster where they found a 9mm handgun in a bathroom trash can.

The investigation led to the suspect who is 14-years-old. The teen wasn’t at the home when police first arrived, but investigators say he arrived at the home later that night.

“Like I say shocking man,” said Barnes.

Barnes says people in the area have been sharing what they know via social media, and everyone would like more answers.

“I’ve been here for 51 years, quiet neighborhood,” says Barnes. “But as years go and come, you have people move in and move out. Sometimes you don’t know who’s moving in.”

An autopsy is scheduled for Thursday. The Lancaster County Sheriff did comment on the crime and says while this is an ongoing investigation, they believe they have an accurate account of the events that took place on Quiet Acres Road. 

They are still asking anyone with information on the crime to call their office or the Midlands Crime Stoppers.

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