Search for accused killer in South Carolina continues, locals urged to stay indoors

York County Sheriff's Office

(CHESTER COUNTY, S.C.) -- An active search is underway in South Carolina for an accused triple murderer who reportedly opened fire at deputies during a high-speed chase Monday.

Tyler Donnett Terry, 27, is described as "armed and extremely dangerous," and York and Chester Police say he is connected to a May 2 murder and two separate shootings. Authorities in Missouri said he is believed to be connected to two other murders this month in the St. Louis area.

The Chester County Sheriff's Office reported a confirmed sighting of Terry between the area of Fishing Creek on Highway 9 Thursday morning around 7:30 a.m.

The sheriff's office urged locals to remain inside their homes and report any suspicious activity as the search for Terry continued Wednesday evening.

"All residents in the area are encouraged to remain inside, lock their doors, remove firearms from vehicles and ensure your vehicles are locked, and report suspicious activity to 911 immediately," CCSO said in a release.

Terry was allegedly part of a high-speed police chase with Chester County Sheriff's deputies on Monday around 11 p.m., the department said in a press release.

Deputies said they approached a vehicle in a parking lot at a Bojangles fast food restaurant in Richburg. The car reportedly took off and refused to stop and multiple shots were fired at deputies, striking two vehicles. No deputies were injured and the chase surpassed speeds of 100 mph, Charlotte, North Carolina, ABC affiliate WSOC-TV reported.

The driver, Adrienne Simpson of Myrtle Beach, ended up crashing on Highway 9 and was arrested, the Chester County Sheriff's Office told ABC News. Terry, who was armed, ran into the woods and remained on the loose, the sheriff's office said.

Authorities connected Terry to the May 2 murder of Thomas Durell Hardin, 35, in York and two other separate shootings, the Chester County Sheriff's Office told ABC News. The York and Chester police departments said in a Wednesday news release he had always been a suspect in the murder but after the police chase Monday, detectives collected enough credible evidence to charge him.

Simpson allegedly drove the vehicle that transported Terry in the May 2 murder and she's been charged with accessory after the fact, according to the press release.

The two other shootings were also on May 2, at Erlich Street in Chester and at a Taco Bell on the J A Cochran Bypass.

The investigation took a turn Wednesday when a body was found in Great Falls, South Carolina, the CCSO said.

The body was identified as Eugene Simpson, 33, Adrienne's husband, the Chester County Coroner told ABC News. His death was ruled a homicide but autopsy results are pending to determine the cause of death.

Eugene was reported missing on May 2 and investigators are probing whether his wife or Terry are involved, WSOC reported.

Authorities connected Terry and Simpson Thursday to two more alleged murders in the St. Louis area. On May 15, Stanley Goodkin and his wife, Barbara, were both shot in University City, Missouri. Barbara Goodkin was killed, while Stanley was shot in his chest and saved when the bullet hit his cellphone, police said.

The same night, Dr. Sergei Zacharev, was shot and killed while outside a hotel in Brentwood, police said.

They do not have any known connection to the St. Louis area, law enforcement said. Authorities believe robbery was the motivation in the shootings.

"Perhaps the most difficult homicide case to solve is where the victims and suspects don't know one another," Brentwood, Missouri, Police Chief Joseph Spiess Jr. said at a press conference. "And you have suspects that are not from your area."

Spiess said the same weapon was used in both shootings, while surveillance video provided by University City police provided a partial license plate and the duo were tracked to a hotel in the area. Video showing Simpson and Terry at the hotel helped to confirm they were the same pair wanted in South Carolina.

"It was an awesome display of tenacity, connecting the dots of what you would probably consider one of the most difficult homicide investigations you could get," Spiess said.

The pair returned to South Carolina and were still driving the same car seen in Missouri when they fled authorities, authorities said.

There are multiple warrants for Terry's arrest. York Police announced Wednesday they have obtained warrants for murder and possession of a weapon during a violent crime against Terry in Hardin's death in York. The Chester City Police Department has also obtained five warrants for attempted murder against Terry, all stemming from the shooting incidents that occurred on May 2nd on Erlich Street and the Taco Bell.

At the moment, Terry is still at large.

Earlier Wednesday, a suspected spotting of Terry and search in Rock Hill prompted the lockdown of six nearby schools as a safety precaution, authorities said.

"[The area's] got everything -- wooded areas, creeks, roads, schools, lots of abandoned buildings, sheds," Trent Faris, the spokesman for the York County Sheriff's Office, told WSOC. "Lots of places he can hide, so that's why we have so many people here to make sure we try to find him and make sure he doesn't do anything -- hurt anyone else."

Terry is described as an African American male, 5 feet, 7 inches tall, wearing all black, no shoes, and with dreadlocks.

Police are offering a cash reward up to $1,000 for any tip that leads to an arrest.

Thursday, May 20, 2021 at 4:51PM by Marlene Lenthang, ABC News Permalink