Monday, July 06, 2009
Police say the murder scenes are linked and they are searching for a man in this sketch.
In this rural South Carolina town, a few summer schools began Monday, businesses opened following the July Fourth weekend, and the 13,000 residents sought to go about their business as usual.
But the town -- and the rest of Cherokee County, total population about 50,000 -- is gripped with fear. Over the past nine days, a serial killer has left five people dead, police say.
The killer's latest victim was 15-year-old Abby Tyler, who was shot last week and died Saturday. Her father, Stephen Tyler, 48, was pronounced dead at the scene of the shooting in their family-run furniture and appliance store.
As residents mourned the Tylers over the weekend, they also had words of warning for the man terrorizing the community.
"If he comes to me, face to face, I'm ready, I'm loaded, and I'm aimed for him," said Sarah Banister, neighbor of one of the killer's victims.
"I'm afraid for my life," said Robby Banister, her husband. "It's going to be kind of like a dog fight. I'm telling you: I'm going to win."