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2nd suspect arrested in connection with Aiken slaying

Antonio Jerome Wise
Antonio Jerome Wise(Contributed)
Published: May. 16, 2022 at 10:29 AM EDT
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AIKEN, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) - Aiken police have made a new arrest in connection with an August slaying in the Crosland Park neighborhood.

The late-night Aug. 18 shooting claimed the life of 31-year-old Earnest S. Croft in the 1300 block of Aldrich Street.

Dontell Harling, then 19, of Edgefield, was arrested and charged soon after the shooting happened.

Now the Aiken Department of Public Safety reports the arrest of another man who’d been sought in connection with the slaying.

Antonio Jerome Wise, of Aiken, was arrested Sunday on charges of suspicion of murder, possession of a weapon during a crime and discharging a firearm into a dwelling. He was booked into Aiken County jail.

Officers found Croft who had suffered a gunshot wound. Life-saving measures were performed by responding officers and Aiken County emergency medical crews, but Croft was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police reported the shooting is believed to be gang-related.

Harling was charged with murder and possession of a weapon during a violent crime, according to arrest records. He is currently being held in the Aiken County Detention Center.

Aiken authorities believe a third suspect was involved, but that person has not been identified.

Anyone with information on the crime is urged to call Aiken Department of Public Safety at 803-642-7620 or submit a tip to CRIME STOPPERS by using the P3 Tips app or going to CrimeSC.com and clicking “Submit a Tip.” Tips submitted through Crime Stoppers will remain anonymous and may receive a cash reward of up to $1,000

Previous problems in the neighborhood

Aldrich Street is no stranger to shootings, some causing injuries and others fatal.

Most recently, someone went on a shooting rampage through the neighborhood May 3, firing shots that struck home but injured no one at 676 Aldrich St. and 1316 Aldrich St. But that same night, driver Charles L. Bradley, 49, of Aiken was shot dead in a car at Hampton Avenue at Assembly Street.

And in June 2020, a shooting in the 600 block of Aldrich Street claimed the life of Devin Williams of Alderman Street in Aiken.

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