Man who shot two women, himself, was due in court on sex crime charge

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By Reece Murphy

A Lancaster man facing an upcoming court date for a sex-related charge shot and seriously injured his daughter and her grandmother Saturday, May 3, then killed himself as Lancaster Police Department officers closed in to arrest him.

Sammy Lee Baskins Jr., 48, was due in court Tuesday, May 6, on a charge of criminal sexual conduct with a minor. 

Police believe he may have been looking for witnesses and paperwork related to the case when he shot Dorothy Mae Caskey, 63, and Jameisha Latrice Clark, 28, according to a press release issued by Lancaster Police Department.

The events leading up to the manhunt for Baskins and his suicide began about 12:28 p.m. Saturday when police responded to a call about a shooting at 103 Penny Street where they found Caskey shot several times. Penny Street is between West Meeting Street and Wylie Park Road.

About three minutes later, officers got another call about a shooting at an apartment in the 2600 block of Pardue Street at Palmetto Place Apartments, where they found Clark, Caskey’s granddaughter, suffering from a single gunshot wound fired at close range.

Witnesses said Clark, who is Baskins’ daughter, was holding a child when Baskins shot her, though the child was not injured. Caskey and Baskins were not related.

The women were taken to the Springs Memorial Hospital emergency room and the hospital was placed on lockdown from 12:35 to 3:35 p.m. as a precaution at the recommendation of law enforcement, said hospital spokeswoman Ashley Shannon.

Crews later flew the women to Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte where they were recovering Monday, May 5, in serious but stable condition.

Lancaster Police Department Capt. Scott Grant said the department launched a manhunt for Baskins soon after witnesses identified him as the shooter in both incidents.

He said the department issued a news blast and later began receiving a fairly steady flow of reports from New town residents as Baskins walked through the neighborhood.

Police stayed “a minute to 30 seconds” behind Baskins for some time before residents standing on a corner on Dunlap Street about 6:30 p.m. pointed officers to a house at 717 E. Dunlap St. where Baskins had holed up, Grant said.

Grant said officers confirmed Baskins was inside and then began helping other residents get out of the house, which is believed to be owned by a member of Baskins’ family.

He said a few seconds after the last person left the house, one of the officers yelled “Police!” A moment later officers heard a single gunshot from inside the house.

“We waited a few more seconds trying to make contact just to make sure everything was clear, and then we made entry into the house and found him (dead) in the bathroom,” Grant said.

Grant credited the cooperation between police and the public with helping locate Baskins before anyone else got hurt.

“We just couldn’t let him stay out,” Grant said. “When you’ve got a fella’ going on a rampage like that, you’ve got to stay on him. We’re lucky we had people staying on him and we were able to make contact.”

Pending charge

Baskins, whose last known address was 2012 Pinta Drive, was arrested for first-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor on Aug. 14, 2013, according to online court records. The victim was under the age of 11.

Baskins was released Sept. 3 on $25,000 bond and the case was transferred to General Sessions Court Sept. 10.

The records show Baskins was arrested again on Sept. 30 for third-degree assault and battery and served 20 days in jail for the charge after pleading guilty on Oct. 7.


Contact reporter Reece Murphy at (803) 283-1151