Claflin Shooting Suspect Says Victim Was His Best Friend

Claflin University student Dravious "Dre" Terry was shot by his roommate, who also attends the school.

Orangeburg, SC (WLTX) - Bond was set at $75,000 for 21-year-old Andre Sanders. He's charged with involuntary manslaughter in connection with the death of 22-year-old Dravious Terry.

The Orangeburg County Sheriff's Office (OCSO) says that charge could still change as they're still early on in the investigation. However, a murder charge requires evidence of malice and intent, and right now, they don't have that. 

Deputy Major Rene Williams with the OCSO a murder charge could mean a life sentence, involuntary manslaughter could mean a five year sentence.

An incident report we received says Sanders called 9-1-1 to the Campus Corner apartment complex in Orangeburg. When units arrived, Sanders was reportedly sitting on the couch in the living room and told deputies Terry was shot in the room and needed help. The report says the Terry was found on the ground in a pool of blood. A weapon was found in the entrance of the bathroom door.

Sanders' lawyer, Jerry Finney, says this was an accident.

"This happened because of an incident that occurred between my client and his best friend," Finney said. "He referred to him not only as his best friend, but as his brother, and he cared for him and he loved him."

Finney says he believes his client did everything right.

"This was clearly an accident," Finney said. "This was not a situation where someone maybe hits someone and causes serious injury or death and flees the scene, this is not that type of situation. He did exactly what a reasonable person would do in this situation, immediately called 9-1-1, immediately cooperated with the police. This was his best friend."

Finney went on to say this is a tragic situation for everyone involved.

"There's really two tragedies here," Finney said. You've got, of course, the tragedy that's happened to the victim, but you've got a young man that I'm representing who has no criminal record, he was a college student, fully enrolled in Claflin University, set to graduate some time in the future. It's a tragedy on both sides."

Sanders is not allowed to contact the victim's family as per his bond instructions, and he's been given a no trespass order at Claflin University.

There will be a prayer vigil for Terry at the Trinity United Methodist Church in Orangeburg on Tuesday, November 14, 2017 at 6PM. 

© 2017 WLTX-TV


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