Killing of Gerald Wilson, 16, hits friends hard

2 deaths came less than 3 days after jail release

Two days after a Graniteville man killed his grandson before taking his own life, some who knew the family are still trying to cope with the loss.


Mary Ann Carpenter, who attends Sweetwater Church of God in North Augusta with the family of the victim, Gerald Wilson, 16, said the slaying has hit her and her granddaughter, Kaleanne, particularly hard.

Carpenter said her granddaughter left school early on Monday because she was still upset.

“It hurts that we weren’t there for him if he had needed us,” she said. “He knew that he could talk to me and Kaleanne if something was wrong, but maybe we should have asked, ‘Is anything wrong?’ ”

About 5:20 p.m. on Sunday, Ronald W. Wilson, 67, of Whaley Pond Road, went to the house of his estranged wife, who lived on the same street, and shot his grandson, Aiken County Coroner Tim Carlton said.

Wilson’s wife and the live-in girlfriend of his grandson were able to escape the house without injury. Carlton said Wilson’s wife stopped an off-duty officer for assistance, who then witnessed Wilson kill himself.

Carpenter said she learned of the slaying after her granddaugther read what happened online.

“She came in and said, ‘Nana, I’ve got some bad news. Gerald passed away,’ ” she said. “I couldn’t believe it. My granddaughter and him were real good friends, and I just hate to know that it happened to (his mother).”

The deaths came less than 72 hours after Wilson was released from jail. He was being held over a criminal domestic violence incident, Aiken County sheriff’s Capt. Eric Abdullah said.

Abdullah said the sheriff’s office wouldn’t release the details of the prior arrest on Monday and that the Sunday evening shooting was still being investigated.

Despite her relationship with the family, Carpenter said she knew little about Gerald’s grandfather.

“The only history I know is that he just didn’t get along with some people, but I, myself, never met him,” she said. “I just don’t know what would have pushed him to the point of doing this.”