Shotgun found; 20-year-old's shooter still at large

tbarton@beaufortgazette.comDecember 14, 2012 

The shotgun authorities believe was used to kill a 20-year-old Hilton Head Island man this week was recovered Thursday morning, according to the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office, but the shooter remains at large.

The Sheriff's Office K-9 Unit found the long-barrel gun after searching woods near the scene of the shooting. The gun was found about 700 yards from the front yard at 180 Marshland Road where Cesar Reyna-Reyna was shot, Sheriff P.J. Tanner said Friday.

Reyna-Reyna's body was found at about 7 p.m. Wednesday, according to the Sheriff's Office. He was pronounced dead at Hilton Head Hospital at 7:47 p.m., Deputy Coroner David Ott said.

Capt. Bob Bromage said the Sheriff's Office is still examining the gun for forensic evidence.

Several witnesses have been interviewed, but a black man seen with Reyna-Reyna just before he was shot has not been found, Bromage said Friday.

He and Tanner also said Friday that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement had not yet confirmed Reyna-Reyna's immigration status. He was born in Mexico and did not attend a local high school, according to the Sheriff's Office.

An autopsy was completed Thursday at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston. Ott said Reyna-Reyna's death was ruled a homicide but declined to release further details, including how many times and where on his body Reyna-Reyna was shot.

"We don't want to jeopardize the investigation," Ott said, adding such details help investigators verify the veracity of information they receive.

Tanner also declined to provide details about the shooting or the suspect, but he hopes witnesses will come forward."A shotgun with a 30-inch barrel is not easy to conceal," Tanner said. "And it is a fairly populated area. We hope someone would have seen someone with such a shotgun either before or after the shooting. That would be a huge help to us if someone did see something, as well as anyone who may be missing a shotgun."

Anyone with information can call Staff Sgt. Chapman at 843-255-3417 or Crimestoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC (1-888-274-6372). Those who call Crimestoppers can remain anonymous.Reyna-Reyna's relatives declined to comment Friday. Arrangements by Allen Funeral Home had not been completed as of Friday afternoon.

It is the second fatal shooting in the area this year. Eight-year-old Khalil Singleton was killed during a gun battle while playing in his grandmother's front yard in early September.

Three men were indicted Oct. 18 on charges in connection with the fight that led to Khalil's death. All three are in custody and have been awaiting trial since the Sept. 1 shooting, according to the 14th Circuit Solicitor's Office.Follow reporter Tom Barton at twitter.com/ProtectServeBft.

Related content:

Hilton Head man fatally shot in his Marshland Road front yard: Dec. 13, 2012

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