A beloved South Carolina pastor was shot dead in his home early Thursday morning and his stepson, who authorities say is armed, dangerous and on the run, has been charged with his murder.
Authorities told GoUpstate.com that at about 9:40 a.m. officers responded to a reported shooting at the home of Pastor Simeon James Frazier Sr. who runs the Apostolic Prophetic Training Bible Institute.
Frazier, 59, was found inside his home suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. He was rushed to the Spartanburg Medical Center where he was pronounced dead. His stepson, Andrico Rashad Stewart, 30, who was reportedly living at the house, was identified by a witness as the shooter, police said.
“I don't think anyone should ever die by a bullet or die by the hands of another man,” Brittany Frazier, the pastor’s daughter-in-law, told WSPA. “He really was a great man.”
Brittany, who is married to one of Frazier's three sons, told the network that he was a grandfather to six young grandchildren.
“Just an all-around genuine, honest, God-fearing man,” she said.
Lyman Police Chief Jay Hayes told GoUpstate.com that no motive has yet been established for the pastor’s murder but Stewart allegedly fled the home and drove away in a van that has since been recovered by the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office. A handgun believed to have been used in the shooting is still missing, along with Stewart.
Hayes warned that if anyone sees him, they should not approach him but call 911.
“We believe (Stewart) has left that area and is considered to be armed and dangerous,” Hayes said. “If anyone sees him, please do not approach him.”
Frazier’s daughter-in-law said he has written a number of books and preached the Gospel around the world.
“He was ordained in the Apostolic by John Eckhardt,” she said. ‘He was a traveling pastor. He saved a lot of souls, brought a lot of people to Christ.”
He was also a big fan of basketball.
“He has a lot of family and friends, very influential in the community especially when it comes to basketball,” she said.
“He didn't deserve to die like this,” Brittany added. “The type of person he was — he deserved to die peacefully in his sleep.”
Police say Stewart was last seen in the Lakeview Manor area of Spartanburg County. His criminal record includes charges for resisting arrest, grand larceny, assault and weapons charges.
He has been charged with murder, use of a weapon during a violent crime, and felon in possession of a firearm.