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No arrests, little information on student’s murder at Campus Edge Apartments

Updated: Aug 24, 2019


USC Upstate and Campus Edge Apartments are separated by a berm only yards apart. Photo by Malcolm Vanhannegeyn.

Almost one week since USC Upstate student Evan Jeffery Gaines was murdered at the Campus Edge Apartments, adjacent to the campus, no arrests have been made and the Spartanburg County Sheriff Office and the campus police department continue to investigate the case as a homicide.

Gaines, a 22 year-old senior business major from Columbia, was shot Tuesday night at his second floor apartment, 40 C, and pushed down the stairs, where he lay wounded from a gunshot wound, according to law enforcement officials and accounts by apartment residents who asked to remain anonymous.

The 911 call referred to a man lying on the ground who suffered injuries after falling down stairs, according to media reports. A resident said, “the body was found at the bottom of the steps in the apartment alley.”

The stairs where Evan Jeffery Gaines reportedly was pushed after he was shot, according to nearby residents. Photo by Malcolm Vanhannegeyn.

Gaines was transported by EMS to Spartanburg Regional Medical Center where he was pronounced dead at 10:45 p.m.

An autopsy was performed Wednesday and no report has been released.

The Upstate police department also responded to the call, despite the university’s standard disclaimer describing Campus Edge Apartments as an “off-campus location.” Campus Edge is located next door to the campus separated by a berm but connected by a walkway bridge.

A student, who lives in building C, told The Carolinian she had just gotten off work and got home when she heard two gunshots, then silence.

Evan Jeffery Gaines lived in Building C, Apartment 40 at Campus Edge Apartments. Photo by Malcolm Vanhannegeyn.

Another student stated that she knew Gaines when they went to high school in Columbia. “He was a good student, was never in any trouble. He moved to Upstate to complete his degree,” the student said. “He was a pleasant person.”

The University of South Carolina issued a statement on Gaines’ death.

“USC Upstate is deeply saddened by the death of one of our students following an incident that occurred at an off-campus location. The Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the incident, and the USC Upstate Police Department is working closely with investigators. The university, in consultation with our Department of Public Safety, has determined this to be an isolated incident and that, currently, no threat to campus exists. USC Upstate has provided the campus community with access to counseling services, as needed. The safety and security of our students, faculty and staff are—and always will be—the university’s first priorities.”

* Malcolm Vanhannegeyn contributed to this report.

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