Murder Sparks Fiery Retaliation

The stepfather of a Zion Hill man charged with murder last week reported a retaliatory firebombing of his home in the early morning hours of May 20.

According to an incident report from the Fairfield County Sheriff’s Office, deputies were called to the home on Doty Road Extension at 3:47 a.m. May 20. There, they found the 53-year-old homeowner standing in the yard holding a rifle. The homeowner told deputies that he had been up for most of the night, standing guard after hearing word on the street that friends and family of a recent murder victim were going to seek vengeance against him for the alleged actions of his stepson, Derekee Johnson.

Johnson, 34, was arrested in Blythewood May 19 and charged with murder in the May 18 shooting death of 22-year-old Bobby Lee McCloud.

The homeowner told deputies that although he had been keeping watch all night, he did doze off for a short period of time. He was awakened by a series of loud thuds striking the outside of the house. The homeowner then grabbed his shotgun and went out into the yard to investigate, the report states, where he found the house on fire.

The homeowner said he thought he saw someone running away from the house and through the back yard, at which time he fired several warning shots into the air. He kept firing until he ran out of shells, then went back into the house and retrieved the rifle. After firing two rounds into the air with the rifle, he then put the fire out with a garden hose.

Deputies located four beer bottles near the side of the house. The bottles had been filled with gasoline and stuffed with rags. The rags had been set on fire and the bottles thrown at the house, causing $1,200 in damage to the home. One of the bottles was recovered intact, the report states.