The client of a Rock Hill center, who escalated an argument there into fatal gunplay Monday afternoon, was denied bond Tuesday after being charged with murder.
The man charged, Jayson Tucker, and the victim, Antonio Roddey, were clients of Renew Our Community center, police said. The agency helps the poor, needy and homeless with vocational and other services.
Tucker shot Roddey once in the head, arrest warrants say.
Roddey, 32, died around 3:45 p.m. at the center on White Street, near Dave Lyle Boulevard.
Tucker, 26, said nothing about the shooting or his motive in court Tuesday, but smiled at times during the hearing and laughed to himself.
Tucker said in court that “I believe it would be smart,” to hire his own lawyer. Testimony showed Tucker is unemployed and lives with his grandmother. Rock Hill Judge Jane Modla qualified Tucker for a public defender as representation against the charges of murder and possession of a weapon during a violent crime.
At one point, while grinning in court, Tucker was asked by Modla if he needed to see his family. He said “It would be a blessing.”
Tucker’s mother, who was not identified by name in court, told Modla that her son had a seizure a few years ago and was unwilling to seek treatment.
Roddey’s mother, Loretta Gaither, tearfully told Modla that her son “was not perfect, but he didn’t deserve to be shot in the head.”
“He died before he hit the ground,” Gaither said.
Roddey leaves six children, his mother told the court.
Gaither called the shooting “uncalled for” no matter what the dispute between the two men had been. She said she prayed for Tucker and his family, and her own family, to get through the trauma.
“Senseless acts like this, there is no excuse for it,” Gaither said.
Modla denied bond to Tucker after Rock Hill police detective Ryan Thomas called Tucker a flight risk, and danger to the community.
Moments later, Gaither and Tucker’s mother embraced as Tucker was led off to jail. He faces up to life in prison if he is convicted.
“I am sorry for both families,” Modla said.
Roddey and Tucker had an ongoing dispute at the ROC that escalated into an argument, said Rock Hill Police Department Capt. Brent Allmon. The motive for the argument and the shooting is still being investigated, Allmon said.
It is not known where Tucker got the gun, or what he did with the weapon after the shooting. The gun has not been found, Allmon said.
“People who legally could not get guns are sometimes able to get them other ways,” Allmon said after the hearing.
Tucker fled after the shooting, but was taken into custody shortly afterward and later charged. Tucker’s only criminal record in South Carolina is a misdemeanor drug possession charge in 2015, according to State Law Enforcement Division records.
ROC has been open since 2011. ROC Executive Director Bruce McKagan said in a statement Tuesday, “Speaking for a staff and volunteers whose mission in life is to love one another, as God has loved us, it was extremely hard to understand how this needless loss of a friend could have taken place.”
ROC was open Tuesday on a normal schedule. The center offered counseling and comfort during the morning to clients who had concerns about the shooting.
“These are people who many times hang around together. They know each other,” said ROC Board member Mike Wallace. “The clients are sad. There is grief like in any family.”