Coroner identifies 4 Aiken family members dead in murder-suicide

Published: Sep. 24, 2021 at 9:45 AM EDT|Updated: Sep. 24, 2021 at 2:33 PM EDT
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AIKEN, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) - Four people were killed and one was severely injured early Friday in a shooting at an Aiken apartment that’s being investigated as a murder-suicide.

Aiken County Coroner Darryl Ables identified the victims as 55-year-old John Fitzgerald Seward Sr., 50-year-old Mary Ann Powlas and 27-year-old Erica Nicole Seward.

Ables said 19-year-old Johnathan Andrew Seward killed the other three — his parents and sister — before killing himself.

Autopsies are scheduled for all four.

An incident report from the Aiken Department of Public Safety also John Fitzgerald Seward Jr., 23, and Theresa Seward, 18, as victims.

Police said Theresa Seward as the victim who was severely injured in the incident at The Boundary at Silver Bluff Apartments, 749 Silver Bluff Road.

The investigation unfolded after Aiken Department of Public Safety said officers responded at 1:27 a.m. to a report of gunshots.

Upon arrival at the complex, officers heard a gunshot as they walked past an apartment. After taking cover and calling for backup, police found four dead people inside.

A fifth victim was taken to a hospital with severe injuries.

Although the incident happened hours early, investigators were still at the scene around 10:30 a.m. Among those there were staff from the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, the statewide agency that assists with major crimes.

Anyone with information on the crime is urged to call the Aiken Department of Public Safety at 803-642-7620 or CRIMESTOPPERS at 888-CRIME-SC (888-274- 6372). Callers may remain anonymous and may receive a cash reward up to $1,000.

The case bears similarities to another one several months ago in the CSRA.

On May 13, four women were shot dead, some of them related, in a unit at the Magnolia Court Apartments on Telfair Street in Augusta. The suspect, Tyler Prather, was the brother and son of two of the victims.

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