A 34-year-old man was killed Thursday night in Rock Hill’s first homicide of 2013, police said.
Johnny Lee Ellison, who lived in the 400 block of Oates Street, was shot and stabbed to death, police said. Two brothers who were angry that Ellison won money in a card game are accused of killing him.
At 8:17 p.m., police were called to 839 Green St. after receiving calls about a shooting, said Executive Officer Mark Bollinger of the Rock Hill Police Department.
When police arrived, Ellison lay in the yard with stab wounds and a gunshot to his head.
He was pronounced dead at Piedmont Medical Center.
Meanwhile, police said they approached David Denorris Williams, 32, and his brother, Jaris Nigel Williams, 29, as they walked away from the crime scene, and the two ran.
Jaris Williams fled behind a house before he was tackled by an officer, according to a Rock Hill police report. Police said they found a baggie of crack cocaine near him.
The Williams brothers, who live in the 800 block of Carolina Avenue, were charged with resisting arrest.
By noon Friday, they were charged with murder, criminal conspiracy and possession of a weapon during a violent crime in connection with Ellison’s slaying. They were being held Friday at the city jail without bond.
Bollinger said several witnesses pointed to the brothers as being the attackers. Police said they have no indication that Ellison was armed. No other injuries were reported in the shooting, and no other suspects were charged, although Bollinger said the investigation continues.
Linda Feaster, who lives in the house across from where police say Ellison was shot, said she and her elderly parents heard a single gunshot.
Her 83-year-old mother was so shaken up, she said, that she had to be taken to Piedmont Medical Center.
A Green Street resident for 40 years, Feaster said the area gets a bad reputation from outsiders who come in and cause trouble.
Both Williams brothers have criminal histories.
David Williams in 1999 was convicted of resisting arrest, court records show.
Jaris Williams in 2000 was sentenced to two years of probation for possession of crack cocaine, according to records with the State Law Enforcement Division. A year later, he received two more years of probation for malicious injury to personal property. In 2004, he was sentenced to five years in prison for failure to stop for a blue light, unlawful carrying of a weapon and possession of a stolen pistol.
Victim had ‘contagious’ laugh
Ellison’s work ethic was well known in Rock Hill’s restaurant community, friends and co-workers say.
He started washing dishes at the former Thursday’s Too restaurant on Herlong Avenue about 15 years ago. Within the past three years, he grilled burgers at the Southern Salads & Sandwich Co. restaurant beside the Food Lion on Ebenezer Road.
“He was here all the time,” carrying a full-time workload six days a week, said Debbie Henderson, who owns the restaurant with her husband, Clay Henderson.
Ellison rode his bike to work each morning. He spent time with Clay Henderson at the bar and, according to family members, liked to dance.
“He had a smile that would light up the room,” said Shan McDonald, former manager of Thursday’s Too and Ellison’s longtime friend. “His laugh was about as annoying as it was contagious. He was there for his son. He was the best dad.”
His son is 10. On Friday morning, a family member said the impact of his father’s death had not yet hit the boy.
The youngest of four children, Ellison graduated from Northwestern High School and had been in a relationship with his son’s mother for more than a decade.