A 28-year-old Beaufort man found shot to death in Sheldon early Sunday morning at a popular community hangout spot was an Army veteran who recently returned home from Afghanistan and hoped to build a career as a radio DJ.
Nathaniel Scott Jr. had provided weekly mixes for the Z93 JAMZ Saturday late-night time slot, even when he was on duty out of the country. Scott had planned to meet with program manager Kathy Brown on Monday to talk about a more permanent role with the North Charleston station, Brown said.
“He put a lot of thought into his mixes and how he transitioned into the music,” she said.
Scott had served in the U.S. Army and as a military security officer and had recently returned from Afghanistan, Brown said. A U.S. Army public affairs representative could not immediately provide Scott’s service record Wednesday.
A funeral home representative said Scott had been an Army specialist and had received a Purple Heart.
“He was really excited about being here and coming home permanently and starting his new life, his civilian life,” Brown said. “He was just a really nice guy, very humble, very respectful.”
Scott was found shot to death in woods off of Bailey Road in Sheldon, the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office said.
A funeral for Scott will be Monday morning at Bethesda Christian Fellowship on St. Helena Island. Scott will then be buried with military honors in Beaufort National Cemetery, according to Allen Funeral Home.
Deputies had been called to the area at about 2:45 a.m. for shots fired from what sounded like an automatic weapon, an agency report said. Officers arrived to find about 100 people in the area and dozens of cars restricting access to the road, the report said.
Officers wrote in their report that people they talked to after the call were uncooperative, and after searching for several minutes without finding evidence of gunfire, deputies left.
Social media posts on Saturday invited people to a birthday party at 260 Bailey Road, a gathering place not far from Old Sheldon Church ruins known as The Spot. The address is registered in state and county records to Spotlife Entertainment LLC.
The property includes a mobile home and another utility building, Bromage said.
Byron Young, owner of Spotlife Entertainment, said there was a small yard party and that people had been checked for weapons with a hand-held metal detector as they arrived.
Someone fired a weapon down the road just after 3:30 a.m., Young said, and people from the road ran into the yard. He said he called police after those shots and that more shots were fired when he arrived back in the yard just after 4 a.m., when Scott was killed.
Deputies were called back after 4 a.m. for a report of a body, they wrote in their report.
A woman flagged down a deputy in his car when he arrived on scene and led him to woods in the back of the lot where several other women were standing near Scott’s body and screaming for help, according to the report.
Scott had been shot, and one of the women was holding a jacket to his wound, the report said.
He wasn’t breathing, didn’t have a pulse and was dead when paramedics arrived, the report said.
Young said the shooting was related to an ongoing social media dispute that many people know about but might not want to talk to police for fear of retaliation.
Investigators are still asking the public for leads, Sheriff’s Office Capt. Bob Bromage said.
“We believe there was numerous eyewitnesses that may be reluctant to come forward,” Bromage said. “We would ask that anyone with information call Crimestoppers. They can remain anonymous.”
Anyone with information can contact Staff Sgt. Brandon Disbrow at 843-255-3407 or Crimestoppers at 1-888-CrimeSC to remain anonymous or receive a possible reward.