South Charlotte

Police, residents meet in aftermath of gunshots

About 100 residents showed up for a community meeting Thursday night on crime in Fort Mill – most of them drawn there by concern over a would-be burglar who shot at a homeowner last week on Fairway Drive.

Fort Mill Police Department Lt. Ray Dixon assured the crowd gathered at Fort Mill Middle School that despite the recent shooting, crime in Fort Mill has been dropping.

The meeting was called in response to the shooting.

At approximately 5:15 a.m. Aug. 24, someone fired several shots into a Fairway Drive home through a side door from the carport. It appears the shooter was aiming at the homeowner, who went to the door to check on a noise that woke him and his wife.

Police say at least three shots were fired. The bullets came close, but the homeowner was not hurt, police said. Dixon said that since the incident several other residents along Fairway Drive have told police that someone knocked on their doors early that same morning. Detectives are still investigating the case.

The homeowner could not provide police with a description of the suspect who fled.

“What we don't know is the suspect's gender, ethnicity or motive,” Dixon told those gathered. “We don't know why he would go to several other houses and knock on the doors, get no answer, and move on.”

Dixon said he thought it was a random, isolated act. However, he had plenty of advice for residents on how to be proactive and avoid becoming targets of criminals.

Suggestions included using frosted window coverings available at most home improvement stores to prevent prowlers from peeking inside a home from the outside. Or, install motion sensor-activated floodlights around the house.

“Criminals don't like light,” Dixon said. York County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Robbie Ellis also spoke. Both he and Dixon said that when someone is home alone and there is an unexpected knock on the door, to answer through the door, without opening it.

“[Tell them] ‘We're not interested, please leave,'” then call the police,” Ellis advised.

Dixon also repeated his offer as Fort Mill's crime prevention officer to perform a free security survey at any home inside the town limit.

The detailed analysis of home security weaknesses will include suggestions on ways to address deficiencies. He can be reached at 803-547-2022.