Crime

Victims did ‘nothing wrong,’ York Co. sheriff says of 2 men killed by man in ‘rage’

A day after burying her husband and brother, Renea Barber of Rock Hill still hopes to find out why a man shot and killed both men on June 7.

Renea Barber’s husband, Timothy Barber, and her brother, Robbin Thompson, were at a man’s home south of Rock Hill to pick up custom cabinets when they were both shot, according to York County Sheriff’s Office deputies.

“They were just there to pick up the cabinets. They were in the wrong place at the wrong time when this person did this to them,” Renea Barber said Friday.

Timothy Barber, 55, worked at Duke Energy at the Catawba Nuclear plant for almost three decades. Robbin Thompson, 50, was a truck driver.

The cabinets were made special for Barber’s father, who is blind.

“All they did was go to pick up the cabinets and now they are gone,” Renea Barber said.

A joint funeral was held Thursday in Rock Hill.

Jimar Frazier Neely, 27, is charged with murder in both deaths.

The incident started at around 7:45 p.m. June 7, according to York County Sheriff Kevin Tolson. Deputies responding to a shooting at 899 Rivercrest Road found Thompson and Barber had been shot.

Later at around 9:30 p.m., deputies responded to a call of shots fired on Red River Road in Rock Hill after a burglary, Tolson said. Information from that crime scene led to Neely, Tolson said.

Near Peachtree Road and Neelys Store Road, deputies tried to stop a Dodge Charger driven by Neely, Tolson said.

Around 9:45 p.m., deputies and Neely exchanged gunfire after Neely shot at the officers, Tolson said. Neely then ran but was caught, deputies said. Neely received a non-life-threatening injury.

Tolson said Friday his deputies are still investigating the deaths of Barber and Thompson, along with the shooting and burglary afterward on Red River Road. Tolson said investigators do not yet have a motive for the shootings of Barber and Thompson.

“Our investigation has shown that both of these victims were there for a legitimate purpose,” Tolson said. “It appears that they were in the path of this man’s rage.”

Tolson said Thompson and Barber are “true victims.”

“They appear to have done nothing wrong and our hearts go out to their families,” Tolson said.

Both men were described by family, friends and co-workers as hard-working, religious and devoted family men.

Thompson’s mother, Annie, said Friday that Robbin Thompson was a fine man and devoted church attendee.

Timothy Barber was a regular at the Rock Hill Tennis Center.

“Tim was my husband’s best friend,” said Tami Byers, a regular at the tennis center. “He was an all-around great guy. What happened is just beyond tragic.”

Many at the tennis center will remember Barber with a moment of silence Saturday during a ceremony.

Neely was arrested on 10 charges, including two counts of murder, attempted murder, burglary and six weapons charges. He remains in the York County jail without bond.

The State Law Enforcement Division is investigating the officer-involved shooting. Charges are pending in that case, jail records show.

The deputies are on administrative duty, per sheriff’s office policy, during the investigation.

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