Venomous snakes, other animals slow SC deadly shooting investigation

Herman (Source: Chesterfield County Sheriff's Office)
Herman (Source: Chesterfield County Sheriff's Office)

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, SC (WBTV) - Deputies in Chesterfield County, SC, are investigating a homicide after a man was found dead outside a home full of venomous pet snakes and malnourished dogs Thursday.

The man, 33-year-old Freddie Lee Herman Jr., was found early Thursday in a yard on Sam Jones Road. Officials say he had been shot multiple times.

Neighbors reported hearing an argument followed by gunshots at the home between 12:30 and 1 a.m. but did not check on Herman until the afternoon because it was "not unusual for gunshots to be fired at the home in the middle of the night," according to the report.

Investigators said  "several malnourished pit bulls, as well as around 30 box turtles and some wild pigs that had been caged" were found at the scene. Inside, deputies found aquariums with rattlesnakes, copperheads, pythons, a cobra, and at least two snapping turtles.

"Freddy didn't live there, that was where he had his reptile business," said the victim's father, Freddy Herman Sr. "Freddy loved animals. There was another guy who was supposed to be helping take care of them."

Herman Sr. said his son's reptile business was "doing very well."

Authorities called in a company specializing in venomous snake removal to help clear the scene. Chesterfield County Animal Control also assisted at the scene.

Investigators have not said anything about possible suspects.

Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call the Chesterfield County Sheriff's Office at 843-623-2101.

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