Lexington police rule Christmas party shooting was self defense
Lexington, SC (Paul Kirby) – Chief Terrence Green of the Lexington Police Department provided details Wednesday of the shooting death investigation that killed Wesley James Warren-Camp on December 20, 2019. This was the death that occurred at a business’ Christmas party. The investigation has been ongoing since the night the shooting occurred.
According to investigators, at approximately 11:36 p.m., officers with the Lexington Police Department were dispatched to a reported shooting that had occurred at Southern Dreams Realty. This business is located at 102 Gantt Street in the Town of Lexington.
Upon arrival, officers found Wesley Warren-Camp, 26, of Lexington, lying on the ground in the parking lot of the business with a gunshot wound to the chest. Officers immediately began administering first aid, but Wesley was unresponsive and didn’t have a pulse. Lexington County EMS personnel arrived on scene and told officers that Wesley was dead.
Officers spoke with Glenn Wilbur Rowe, Jr., 46, of Leesville, who admitted to shooting the young man. Officers secured a handgun found nearby, and placed Rowe in handcuffs detaining but not arresting him. Rowe spoke with officers and told them he shot Wesley during a fight where both Wesley and his father, William Douglas Camp, Jr., had assaulted him. This happened when Rowe and his wife had attempted to leave the party.
Rowe was seriously injured during the assault and needed medical attention. He was released from investigative detention and transported from the scene by EMS to the Lexington Medical Center.
During the course of this multi-week investigation, a timeline of what occurred leading up to the shooting was created. This, along with information verified through interviews of witnesses and people involved in the incident helped determine that timeline.
Detectives found that a physical fight had started during the party. It involved Wesley and his father William. The father and son were separated, and Wesley was taken outside onto the porch of the business. He was so enraged that he had to be restrained by two men who were at the party.
After the father and son were separated from their fight, Rowe and his wife decided to leave. While walking across the parking lot, another person who was there, Calvin Lee Brown, 51, of Lexington, retrieved a handgun from his vehicle and fired several rounds into the air in an attempt to hopefully disperse the crowd. Brown then got into his vehicle and fled the scene.
As Rowe and his wife were getting into their vehicle, he was approached by Wesley. The driver side truck door of Rowe’s vehicle was still open. Rowe was pulled from the truck by Wesley who began to physically assault him again. William, Wesley’s father, saw his son assaulting Rowe, came over, and began attacking Rowe as well. The victim was hit in the face and body many times, and each time he tried to get back into his vehicle, the pair would pull him out of the truck door and continue to beat him.
At some point, Rowe was able to get his handgun from inside the truck. He was pulled out again by Wesley and his father. While lying on his back, the two continued to hit him in his head and face. Eventually, Rowe was able to fire one shot hitting Wesley in his upper body. Wesley was standing over Rowe when the shot was fired. That stopped the fighting!
During interviews immediately after the incident and during the follow-up investigation, Rowe said he feared for his life and felt he was about to lose consciousness. As the two men continued beating him in his face, he was also worried about the safety of this wife. She witnessed the assault and had attempted to pull Wesley and his father off her husband.
Medical records from Lexington Medical Center show that Rowe suffered a broken eye socket and had deep cuts to his face and head. He also had severe bruising on both his head and much of his body.
This case was presented to the 11th Circuit Solicitor’s Office and it was determined that Rowe acted lawfully in self-defense in the shooting death of Wesley. It was decided that no charges would be filed.
Calvin Brown, who had fired the gun outside of the party, was stopped immediately after leaving the scene on East Main Street by Lexington Police Department officers. He was charged with Driving Under the Influence. The handgun that he fired at the party was also found in his vehicle. He has been charged with Unlawful Use of a Firearm and Discharging a Firearm in Town Limits.
For his role in the assault of Rowe, William Camp, Jr., has been charged with Assault & Battery, 2nd Degree.
On January 15, 2020, Calvin Brown and William Camp turned themselves in on the above charges. They are being held at the Lexington County Detention Center awaiting a bond hearing.
In his release, Chief Green said, “This was a tragic and chaotic incident. I appreciate the patience shown from those involved, along with the community, while detectives have worked through every aspect of this case to bring it to a conclusion.”
Green went on to say, “Thank you to the County of Lexington Coroner’s Office, the State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) and the 11th Circuit Solicitor’s Office for their assistance throughout this investigation.”