West Columbia, SC (Paul Kirby) – Paul Swatsell, a cab driver that was shot and killed Sunday night in North Columbia, grew up in the West Columbia / Cayce area of Lexington County. He was driving a cab for Checker Yellow, making a meager living,when someone gunned him down. Now, his old friends and classmates are speaking out about their friend and what a senseless crime this was. They’re also planning to remember him at a service Wednesday night.
According to former classmate John Spires, Paul was a special person. “I went to school with him starting in the third grade and we all ended up at BC High School together. Paul always had it rough in life from the very beginning. His mother died in childbirth, his dad wasn’t in his life, and he was raised by his grandparents that are long gone. He was a special kind of guy, but Paul was special in so many great ways. This never stopped him from being our friend and smiling as he went throughout the day. We were a group and he was a part of that. The friends from that time are tight, like a pack, and now someone has done something this senseless to such a wonderful person over a few bucks! Paul would have given them the money; he would have given them the shirt off his back!” Spires said. “One thing I know is that it would not be good for the police to find Paul’s killer and bring him to our side of the river. We aren’t vindictive people, but I know it would end badly for whoever killed our friend for a few bucks!”
Now, Paul’s old classmates, the Brookland-Cayce Alumni, are planning a memorial service for Paul Swatsell. It will be held on Wednesday, December 18th at 6:30 p.m. It is being held at Abundant Life Assembly Church located at 105 Lincoln St.West Columbia, SC. Paul’s friends say they know of no next of kin. The group is currently working with the Richland County Coroner’s Office and their sheriff to try and locate someone that was related to Paul. At some point, his old friends and classmates, the only family most know he had, will try and arrange a proper funeral and burial service.
If you have any information about this crime you can make tips in several ways. First, you can call CRIME STOPPERS at 1-888-CRIME SC. They also have a website at midlandscrimestoppers.com where there’s a submit a tip tab. You can even download their P3 app for Apple or Android and make tips through that.