A suspect in a double murder that occurred during a block party Saturday night in Laurens committed suicide Monday afternoon just before deputies from the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office arrived to arrest him.
Deputies were attempting to serve Johnny Lee Pyles, Jr. with a warrant for murder Monday in the weekend murders of Sidney Speaks, 43, and Roydrecilous Irby, 26, on the 200 block of Winette Street in Laurens.
By Tuesday afternoon, five arrests had been made in connection with the shooting, not including the warrants for Pyles.
According to Laurens County Sheriff Don Reynolds, Pyles was found “in distress” at a residence on the 100 block of Tifton Court in Fountain Inn when deputies arrived to arrest him.
Pyles, 25, died at 8:38 p.m. Monday while being transported by ambulance to Greenville Memorial Hospital. An autopsy determined Pyles died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.
LCSO Chief Deputy Jarvis Reeder said no shots were fired by LCSO deputies when they attempted to serve Pyles with arrest warrants for murder and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime.
LCSO deputies also arrested Steven Antonie Redd, 30, of Laurens Monday afternoon and charged him with first-degree assault and battery in the Saturday incident.
Reynolds said deputies have located the gun believed to have been used in the murders and tests to verify that were ongoing Tuesday.
“The investigations into these two deaths is still ongoing, and there are more arrests to follow,” Reynolds said. “So, it’s still very much an involved investigation as we speak.”
SLED is also involved in the investigation of both the murders and the apparent suicide of Pyles.
Reynolds said during a Tuesday press conference that statements from witnesses led investigators to serve warrants on Pyles and Redd.
“At this point, (Pyles) is believed to be one of the shooters,” Reynolds said, noting that Redd could face additional charges as the investigation continues.
According to the Laurens County Coroner’s Office, Irby was shot four times, and Speaks was shot once. Both men were pronounced dead at Laurens Memorial Hospital.
Early Tuesday afternoon, LCSO deputies arrested Sterling Orlando Workman, 27, of Laurens, and Michael Dewayne Watts, 32, of Laurens. Workman was charged with aggravated breach of peace and obstruction of justice, while Watts was charged with first-degree assault and battery.
Two women were the first to be arrested after the shooting Saturday night.
Both Alexius Long, 20, of Laurens, and Alexus Coleman, 24, of Waterloo, were charged with aggravated breach of peace for allegedly firing weapons at the block party and have since been released on bond.
Reynolds said the investigation is continuing and more information is filtering into his office, but no clear motive has been established for the shooting.
“I understand there’s an awful lot of grief, pain and anger – a lot of emotions,” Reynolds said. “We’re all human, and we hurt and we want … justice. All I can say, is we have to let it take it’s course. It’s very difficult to walk slow with it, but that’s what we have to do.”
According to reports, some 300 people were at the block party when the incident occurred around 11 p.m. Saturday.