Woman killed, man wounded in Ravenel home invasion and shooting

RAVENEL, S.C. (WCIV) -- One person was shot and killed and another person was injured in a home invasion in Hollywood early Sunday morning.

A third person in the house was not injured, a report states.

According to Charleston County deputies, two armed black men forced their way into a home at the Three Oaks Mobile Home Park on Savannah Highway and demanded money from a man and his fiancee

An incident report released Monday by the sheriff's office states the third person in the home, a 41-year-old woman, was in the mobile home's rear bedroom when she heard gunshots.

She reportedly hid under a bed. While she was hiding, the woman told deputies the suspects looked in the bedroom and then left.

Deputies say shots were fired inside the home and both Jerry Simmons and his fiancee, LaTorria Heyward were wounded. The woman died at the scene, deputies said, and the man was airlifted to Medical University Hospital for treatment.

The coroner's office identified the woman as 24-year-old Heyward. Deputies have not identified any suspects in the shooting.

According to the report, the third person in the home saw one of the suspects as they ran out of the mobile home. She described him as a slim black man wearing a white T-shirt, deputies said.

Neighbors said Heyward was just 12 days from her wedding day. The news of her death has shaken her community so much, local community leaders are strengthening their fight against gun violence.

"When I got the message from Debra on yesterday morning, all I could do is just cry," said Lisa Doctor, a friend of Heyward's aunt.

Doctor says the couple planned to get married Friday, July 25. Moreover, the shooting happened the night of Heyward's daughter's seventh birthday.

Doctor also said the victim's family spent Monday burying Heyward's father who passed away several days before the shooting.

"They are dealing with two deaths at one time," said Doctor. "They are really just having a hard time. At this time, we just asking the community to keep the family lifted up."

Doctor is not only a family friend, but also a community advocate who fights against gun violence in the lowcountry.

"Enough is enough," said Doctor. "If you know something, come forward. That's the only way we're going to stop these people from killing another family."

Doctor spent Monday afternoon with Pastor Thomas Dixon, founder of People United to Take Back Our Community. Together, they are asking witnesses to break the cycle of crime in the lowcountry.

"As far as that terminology of 'snitch,' the criminals have redefined this term to protect themselves," said Dixon. "If you are not a part of a crime, then you are not snitching if you report it. So, we don't call it snitching. It's reporting what you see."

Anyone with information can make an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers at 554-1111.

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