A 17-year-old Rembert man has been charged with manslaughter for his involvement in the Thursday night shooting death of 19-year-old Kyre Raquan Bethea at a residence in the Windsor City Mobile Home Park.
Rhythm Portee, 17, of Dais Road in Rembert was charged Friday morning after investigators interviewed him Thursday night for his role in the killing. After being officially charged, Portee was transported to the Sumter-Lee Regional Detention Center where he will await a bond hearing.
Law enforcement officials highlighted that Portee was currently out on bond on attempted murder charges for another shooting incident in December. The victim in that incident is recovering, officials said.
Deputies first received reports of a shooting at the mobile home park near U.S. 521 between Sumter and Dalzell around 6:50 p.m. Thursday. Upon arrival, they found the teen-aged victim suffering from a single gunshot wound to the chest.
Bethea, a former student at Lakewood High School, was transported by Sumter County Emergency Medical Services to Palmetto Health Tuomey in Sumter, where he was later pronounced dead. According to Ken Bell, spokesman for the sheriff’s office, a formal autopsy will be conducted Friday.
Witnesses told deputies the two men, who were acquaintances, were “playing some kind of game with the weapon” when it discharged, striking Bethea in the chest.
The handgun used in the incident has also been determined to be a weapon stolen during a recent car burglary, and did not belong to the suspect.
Shortly after arriving to the alleged crime scene, officers located Portee at a nearby residence, and he was taken into custody for questioning.
Bell said the handgun involved in the shooting was recovered by officers at the scene, and that there were multiple witnesses to the incident which investigators would be interviewing.
Law enforcement authorities said the investigation into the shooting will continue, and that more charges and/or arrests were possible.