Originally created 11/05/06

Police investigate 2nd triple homicide in less than a week



COLUMBIA - Just days after three bodies were discovered in a drainage ditch, Richland County deputies are investigating another triple homicide.

The sheriff's department has an arrest warrant charging William Harold Jenkins Jr., 57, with murder in the shooting deaths at an apartment near Fort Jackson, Sheriff Leon Lott said.

"We know who did it, we've got to find him," Sheriff Lott said.

The coroner has put the time of death between 8:30 p.m. Wednesday and 4:30 a.m. Thursday.

Sheriff Lott said Mr. Jenkins might have already left the state. He had lived at the apartment where the bodies were found about two months. His pickup was registered in Tennessee.

Sheriff Lott said Mr. Jenkins is considered armed and dangerous.

The victims, two men and a woman who have not been identified, were found Friday night when police went to the apartment in response to a request to check on the people living there. All three were killed by multiple gunshots.

Investigators don't know if any of the victims lived in the apartment with Mr. Jenkins, and police have no motive for the shootings.

Sheriff Lott said the only crime he knew of in Mr. Jenkins' past was a driving under the influence arrest about 15 years ago.

It is the second triple homicide this week in the Columbia area. In the other case, two men were shot and a woman fatally stabbed in what police said was a domestic violence incident. Two men have been arrested in that case.

Sheriff Lott said the most recent homicides are not connected to the others.

He said Mr. Jenkins is a black male, 6 feet 4 inches tall and 255 pounds, with gray hair and glasses. He is likely driving a 1994 blue GMC pickup with Tennessee tag 559 CQQ. Anyone with information is asked to call the Richland County Sheriff's Department at (803) 576-3000.