Murder, killing attempt, suicide investigated
By DEUCE NIVEN
A murder and an attempted murder Friday was followed by the suicide of the apparent killer, Capt. David Nobles of the Columbus County Sheriff’s Office said.
Timothy Goins, 38, who lived in the Loris area, died about 1:30 p.m. of a single gunshot wound to the head while at a home on Pine Circle Drive in Green Acres Community east of Tabor City, Columbus County Coroner Linwood Cartrette said.
Goins is believed to have killed his nephew at his home in the Flagpatch Community east of Loris before going to the Green Acres home of his estranged girlfriend, Latosha Smith, 38, where he shot her once in the left eye before turning his handgun on himself, Nobles said.
Dan Rouse, 46, was identified by Horry County Deputy Coroner Darris Fowler as the Flagpatch victim. Rouse was shot once, and died of a single gunshot wound to the head, Fowler said after an autopsy was completed Saturday.
Detectives with the Horry County Police Department are investigating the death of Rouse as a murder suicide, spokesman Sgt. Robert Kegler said, and are awaiting confirmation from forensics analysis of the gun and bullets.
Investigators believe Goins thought he had committed two murders before he turned the gun on himself. Smith defied the odds.
“She did not die,” Cartrette said of Smith.
Nobles called Smith’s survival “one of those freak things,” and said that while she will likely lose her eye, she is expected to survive.
“There was no brain involved,” Nobles said.
Smith’s mother called 911 immediately, Nobles said. She and the woman’s two-year-old daughter were in the room as Goins fired the two shots.
Smith was taken by ambulance to McLeod Loris hospital, and later taken by helicopter to a trauma center, Nobles said. Nobles did not know which trauma center received Smith.
Nobles said he did not know if Smith’s daughter was also Goins’.
Horry County Police Department detectives were called to Goins home on Flagpatch Road about 4 p.m. Friday, Sgt. Robert Kegler said, and found Rouse dead there.
Fowler said Rouse either lives in the same residence as Goins, or at another home nearby.
Detectives continued to work the Flagpatch shooting scene Friday night, Kegler said.
Nobles said he did not know if Rouse and Smith had a relationship, or what prompted Goins to kill.
“We know it was an estranged relationship between her and Goins, some issues of her trying to cut ties that maybe he did not want cut,” Nobles said.
Check back here for more on this developing story, and see the Jan. 9 Tabor-Loris Tribune print edition for the full story.