Man injured in Sumter gang-related gas station shooting charged with murder

Police arrest 2 more associated with rival gangs who were at the scene


One of three men injured during a gang-related shooting on Sept. 9 at the Hop In (Sunoco) convenience store was charged with murder and taken into custody on Tuesday.

Diontrae Epps, 26, of South Purdy Street, was released from the hospital and placed into custody at the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office Detention Center, according to Tonyia McGirt, public information officer for the Sumter Police Department.

In addition to murder, he was charged with unlawful carry of a firearm and possession of a weapon during a violent crime.

Police said Epps is suspected in the killing Michael Rogers, 30, of Sumter, who was struck by gunfire and transported to Prisma Health Tuomey Hospital, where he later died.

Gregory Middleton, 30, of White Street, also was struck and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Two other men, one of whom is recovering from a gunshot wound, were injured during the incident.

Police are saying a rap video titled “Boost the Murder Rate” and robberies targeting rival gangs led to the shooting at 1 a.m. on Broad Street.

Officers are continuing to identify and arrest individuals associated with these groups who were at the scene.

Several have outstanding warrants for unrelated crimes inside and outside of the city, McGirt said.

So far, five men have been identified and placed into custody on unlawful carry of a firearm charges, including two who turned themselves in on Monday. Perry Vanburen, 25, and Kendall Dow, 22, both of Sumter, face charges of illegal carry of a firearm and were at the gas station when the shooting happened, McGirt said.

Ellquin Williams, 18, Devante Wilson, 21, and Risheen Rich, 29, were all charged last week on unrelated warrants.

Police are continuing to search for Keyonte Markees McGee, 27, of Camellia Street, who is wanted on an unrelated family court bench warrant.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Sumter Police Department at (803) 436-2700 or Crime Stoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC.

Tips can also be submitted to Crime Stoppers by logging onto www.P3tips.comand clicking on the “Submit a New Tip” tab or by downloading the new P3 Tips app for Apple and Android devices.