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Neighbors shocked by murder-suicide that killed 4 in Aiken

Published: Sep. 24, 2021 at 6:28 PM EDT
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AIKEN, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) - South Carolina investigators are looking for answers after a murder-suicide in Aiken. SLED officers were on the scene Friday at The Boundary at Silver Bluff Apartments right off Silver Bluff Road. That’s where the Aiken County coroner says a 19-year-old shot and killed his family before killing himself.

Investigators believe 19-year-old Jonathan Seward shot and killed his mom, dad and sister. The coroner says he then killed himself. Neighbors can’t believe this happened.

“To look out the window and see it was right across the parking lot from you, it was kind of a shock,” said Jeremy Cruz, a resident at The Boundary at Silver Bluff.

A shock Cruz when he found out Friday morning four of his neighbors are dead he couldn’t believe it.

“They’re always polite, always very friendly, they would always smile and wave. It’s not the kind of thing you would expect to see happen to anybody, but especially them,” he said.

Investigators believe 19-year-old Jonathan Seward shot and killed his mom, dad and sister just before 2 a.m. Friday. The coroner says he then killed himself.

Cruz has been living in this apartment complex for five years. He didn’t expect something like this could happen there.

“This is the first thing that’s really been violent, so it’s just...it’s kind of strange, I don’t really know what to think of it, I haven’t had a whole lot of time to really process it,” he said.

It will take a while to process. Why did this happen to this family?

Police say Theresa Seward is in the hospital with severe injuries. We’ve asked police about the connection between her and the suspect. They do share the same last name.

We spoke with a long time family friend who says this is a very sweet, simple family. The family had a history of mental health disabilities. The youngest Jonathan, the shooter, had a diminished mental capacity along with a lot of medical issues. He was born with a heart condition that led to several surgeries. The family all lived together at that apartment complex for more than 20 years.

We’re also told one brother John Jr. was able to run away and was not hurt. With their mental health histories, all of the adult siblings did require care and supervision and John Jr. is now going to be cared for by his maternal grandmother.

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