Lifelong friend was with Rock Hill homicide victim 10 minutes before he died

jmcfadden@heraldonline.comJanuary 11, 2014 

— Ten minutes before he was shot to death, Michael Giddens talked about getting a job, his lifelong friend said on Saturday.

Jonathan Barrett and Giddens were just “sitting at the house” Friday. Barrett left to run an errand. By the time he got back, his friend was gone.

Giddens, 25, died at 1167 Cedar Grove Lane, his home, after police say he was shot to death about 2 p.m. Police found him inside the house suffering from an “unknown” number of gunshot wounds. He was taken to Piedmont Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.

It’s unclear what led to the shooting, said Executive Officer Mark Bollinger of the Rock Hill Police Department. Witnesses told police three suspects were spotted at the scene and later fled in a blue Mercury sports utility vehicle – possibly a Mountaineer that headed towards the Interstate.

The car was later found on Sirrine Street off Dave Lyle Boulevard, he said. The Mercury and a white Kia found abandoned in the parking lot of nearby Calvary Baptist Church are being examined by police for possible evidence.

Investigators were still working on the case Saturday, speaking with possible witnesses and trying to find and identify the suspects, Bollinger said.

Some weapons were found when a K-9 unit tracked the suspects’ scent, Bollinger said. It’s unclear whether those weapons were used in Friday’s shooting.

Nearby Sullivan Middle School went on a temporary lockdown while police tried tracking the suspects. Cedar Grove Lane is located off Cherry Road, not far from Cherry Park. The house where the shooting happened is a one-story brick home.

Giddens is Rock Hill’s first homicide victim of 2014.

Police investigated three homicides last year, one of which has gone without any arrests.

Giddens was a tattoo artist, capable of drawing anything: “He would do anything...anything that anyone wanted, he would go for,” Barrett said.

Playing video games, customizing cars and spending time with friends were among his hobbies, Barrett said.

“I love him and I miss him,” Barrett said. “We are thinking about him. Everybody.”

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