YORK COUNTY, SC (WBTV) - Police have identified a 64-year-old man who was found fatally shot at a York County home Wednesday as a well-known Charlotte businessman.
Deputies responded to a call for an unresponsive person at a home in the 6900 block of Pine Moss Lane in Clover around 3:30 p.m. when they found the man, identified Thursday as Jesse Campbell of Clover, dead with a gunshot wound.
The case is being investigated as a homicide, officials say.
"It took us awhile to figure out that it was a homicide - that's the time gap," Trent Faris, Public Information Officer for the York County Sheriff's Office said. "At first it appeared to be just a gunshot wound but then as the investigation continued on all the clues and aspects started to look more towards a homicide."
Investigators said they went to Campbell's house after a friend hadn't seen him. Investigators say they don't know when he was killed.
"[We're] Trying to figure out when was the last time someone actually saw him alive," said Faris, adding that any information could help. "No matter how insignificant, it could help us solve this crime."
Campbell is described by neighbors as a wonderful man. He was also the owner of Campbell's Greenhouses and Nursery in the Dilworth neighborhood of Charlotte. Several said they were scared and had no idea why anyone would want to kill Campbell.
Campbell's nursery was a popular spot in Charlotte.
"People would bring their half dead orchids in to him and he would nurse them back to health. And when they were ready they would come pick them up. So that was a big part of his business," said Ron Wootten, who knew Campbell for decades.
"He was always smiling," Wootten said. "He liked to talk to people about plants. He loved kids and talked to kids about plants."
Wootten owns Paper Skyscraper - not far from the Campbell nursery. He says he and Campbell were just talking about the future.
"Mr. Campbell was sitting on a valuable piece of land. He told me he had a plan for retirement. So I'm particularly distressed to hear the news," Wootten told WBTV.
George Dizes saw Jesse Campbell just about every day. Dizes' restaurant, Mr K's, has been next door to the nursery for 18 years. Dizes said he saw Campbell just a few days ago this week. Dizes assumed he would see him again.
"He just stopped by to say hello, joked around a little bit like normal - okay Jesse - see you on Monday," when the Campbell Greenhouses and Nursery was scheduled to re-open after a Christmas break.
"We just enjoyed the camaraderie of being neighbors and friend," Dizes said. "His personality... Jesse had a unique personality."
Dizes said he's still trying to process the news of Campbell's death.
"I'm really still in shock," he said. "You know, it's like here today and gone tomorrow."
Forensic teams gathered evidence Thursday. Neighbors say they hope investigators can determine who killed the man who was good and kind to them and shared his love of mother nature.
The coroner says they are still determining the cause of death. An autopsy and toxicology tests were done Thursday morning but could take several weeks to get results.
If you saw anything unusual or know anything, you're asked to call York County Crime Stoppers at 877-409-4321.