BY BRUCE BRANUM
The Greenville Standard
On Wednesday, June 12, 47-year old Willard Crook, Jr. was killed by a gunshot at approximately 10:40 p.m.
Butler County Sheriff Danny Bond said Crook was killed during an altercation with four other individuals. Bond said four suspects were under arrest with one the suspects being age 16. “All four are charged with murder,” said Bond.
Bond added that assistance in apprehending the murder suspects was provided by the Department of Corrections K9 tracking team from the Atmore prison, the Greenville Police Department who helped locate one the suspects, and citizen response.
Apparently, there were two incidents that evening as the murder suspects visited Crook’s residence, left and then returned. It was on the second visit that Crook was mortally wounded and the suspects left the scene.
Upon being transported to the Regional Medical Hospital Emergency Room, Crook was pronounced dead.
Bond said, “We called Atmore for the dogs and they took us right to two of the suspects, Greenville helped us with the third one, and we arrested the fourth one today.”
“We had a lot of citizen cooperation and that helped us. From the Butler County Sheriff’s Department, we thank them for helping,” said Bond.
A weapon was located and is the Sherriff’s Department possession. They are waiting for forensics to determine if it was the actual weapon. The weapon found was reported stolen in a case with the City of Greenville.
All four suspects are being held on a $500,000 bond each at the Butler County Correctional Facility.
Bond said, “The investigation is still open. Details will be released at a later date.” He added, “We want to make sure that when we arrest somebody, that we have got all facts and that what we have done is the correct thing.
“I believe the investigation that night was good and that when it goes to court we will have everything ready to be presented…so there are no if ands or buts about it.”