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Police identify driver of truck, 26, shot in Rock Hill; police investigating homicide

Police in Rock Hill are investigating a homicide involving the 26-year-old driver of a truck who was shot Thursday night before hitting a parked car and an apartment building.

Capt. Mark Bollinger of the Rock Hill police said the driver was Justin Penland, 26, of Rock Hill. He later died at a Charlotte hospital.

The incident is the second in less than 24 hours where police found the driver of a vehicle had been shot.

Police have not said whether there is any connection between the incidents, in two separate locations several miles apart within the city limits.

In the most recent incident, around 9 p.m. Thursday, police were called after a pickup truck hit a car and a building at Mallard Pointe Apartments, in the 2300 block of Eden Terrace, said Capt. Mark Bollinger of the Rock Hill Police Department.

Officers then found that the driver, now identified as Penland, had been shot, police said.

Rawle Conway and Lashawn Hunter, who live in the Mallard Pointe apartment that the truck driver crashed into, said they were in their home Thursday night.

Conway said he heard the crash and thought someone was driving drunk or had fallen asleep at the wheel.

“I get closer and I see bullet holes in the car,” Conway said. “It was crazy. Very unexpected.”

Hunter said she was in her bedroom, closest to where the vehicle struck the building.

“I didn’t sleep last night,” Hunter said. “I didn’t want to sleep in my bedroom.”

Conway said the driver was still alive when they found him. They tried to keep him responsive, but heard from police that he had later died.

Conway said they moved to Rock Hill from New York, hoping to “get away from all that.” They never expected a homicide near their apartment.

“It was just terrible,” Conway said. “It was a sad situation. I just wish it had never happened.”

The incident happened in the northeast area of Rock Hill.

In the earlier incident, around 10 p.m. Wednesday on the southern edge of the city, a 21-year-old man was found shot, sitting in the driver seat of a car at a gas station. That man survived, police said, but that shooting being investigated as an attempted murder, police documents show.

No arrests have been made in either case.

Check back for updates.

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