PICKENS — The early morning hours of April 12 were broken by the sound of gunfire when an altercation turned deadly, leading to the death of one Pickens County man and the arrest of a second.
Justin Douglas O’Bryant, 26, has been charged with murder and possession of a weapon during a violent crime following the shooting death of Michael Shane Collins, 38, of 120 Hannah Road in the Sunset Community.
“According to what we know, O’Bryant and Collins had known one another for 10 years or more and had common friends as well,” said Chief Deputy Creed Hashe of the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office. “Based on all the evidence we have at this point, there was an altercation of some sort which spilled into the yard and eventually led to gunshots.”
According to Hashe, Collins and a friend had returned to the Hannah Road residence just after midnight when O’Bryant and an unidentified female arrived. The two men argued, resulting in Collins’ death, with 911 receiving an emergency call at 2:40 a.m.
“When our officers responded, O’Bryant had already left the scene,” Hashe said. “Once we began to work the case it took us only five hours from the initial call until the arrest of the suspect was made.”
Hashe stated it did not appear O’Bryant was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, but a toxicology report “would answer any question as to anything in his (O’Bryant’s) system.”
Officials do not know what sparked the disagreement that led to the shooting.
“At this point, all we know is there was an altercation that escalated fairly quickly, but we don’t know what it was the two were arguing about,” Hashe said. “Collins had no weapons on him and was unarmed when the shooting occurred.”
A handgun was recovered and officials are awaiting forensic results but are “confident it was the weapon” used in the shooting.