Crime | News | South Carolina

South Carolina Gay Man Dies in Potential Hate Crime Assault

Sean William Kennedy, 20, was leaving Brew's Bar in Greenville County, South Carolina when a man leapt out of a car and punched him at least once, knocking him to the ground. Kennedy died almost 17 hours later, according to WYFF Greenville.

Sean_william_kennedyThe suspect got back into his car following the assault, which Kennedy's friends believe was a hate crime. Kennedy was gay. Authorities are treating the case as a homicide, and exploring the possibility that he was attacked because of his sexuality.

WIS 10 Columbia says the bar was having a teen night.

Said Greenville County Sheriff's Lt. Shea Smith: "We've interviewed several witnesses in the parking lot when this occurred. We've talked to other people at the bar, and we have received tips and investigators are following up on that. The investigation continues, and we hope to make an arrest."

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  1. What a shame! I hope they find the guy who did this so he can spend years in prison getting his ass raped! Bastard.

    Posted by: Jake | May 18, 2007 8:55:45 AM

  2. What a waste. Hopefully, the people in South Carolina will take this to heart.

    Posted by: Ryan | May 18, 2007 9:46:56 AM

  3. Let's not forget, the Log Cabin Republikkkans oppose even counting the number of gay teens who are attacked or murdered.

    They oppose even COUNTING them. Republicans deny that any anti-gay attack is a hate crime. Log Cabin self-haters are funded to give political cover to the haters who deny racism, deny the Holocaust, deny homophobia.

    Posted by: bambambam | May 18, 2007 9:48:05 AM

  4. Greenville, and all of upstate South Carolina, is ground zero for fundamentalist hatred of gays in the name of God. It takes guts to be out in a place like that. Of course, I don't know what the killer's motivation was, but if it wasn't hate learned at church, I'll be surprised.

    Posted by: sam | May 18, 2007 9:48:44 AM

  5. south carolina is one reason folks fly to florida and not drive.

    Posted by: A.J. | May 18, 2007 9:56:10 AM

  6. oh come on you guys -- some singular asshole kills a poor kid, and you blame an entire state. i grew up in sc, have family there, go there all the time, came out there in the '80's, and i can tell you that you are wrong. you were wrong about it then, you're totally wrong about it now. blind dumb unexplored statements like that are just used as ammunition by the right to say "see, look how they hate us..." why not let the case unfold before you rush to a verdict and condemn a whole population. it makes little sense to complain about other's ignorance while espousing an ignorant viewpoint.

    Posted by: dan | May 18, 2007 10:06:12 AM

  7. Isn't it wiser in these cases to wait until more facts come out before judging (even judging the motive of the crime)? It's early stages yet. (But going by the name of the victim, let's hope the usual anti-Irish Towleroad bigots at least lay off it in this case).

    Posted by: MJ | May 18, 2007 10:15:02 AM

  8. dan -- what part of SC did you grow up in? i'm tinking charleston, because that's the only thing close to a tolerant city in that region. i gre up about 20 miles north of greenville. and wild horses wouldn;t get me back there now . . . it's a cesspool of ignorance, bigotry and small-mindedness. get your head out of the sand, my firend, a kid just got killed there because he's gay.

    Posted by: kimmer | May 18, 2007 10:21:43 AM

  9. I live about 3 miles from the bar. I never go anymore since I have come out. The bar can get a bit on the rough side and frankly, I tend to stay away from that kind of straight bar. My heart goes out to his family. So sad.

    Posted by: Mark | May 18, 2007 10:23:37 AM

  10. The Irish did it.

    And what Dan said.

    Posted by: Becks07 | May 18, 2007 10:26:41 AM

  11. kimmer -- i grew up in spartanburg. if you know the area then you know where that is. and i do go their regularly. i'm not going to diminish your experience, but mine is significantly different, and i would venture to say from your claim that you would never go there, it is based on more extensive and recent experience. there is ignorance and bigotry and hatred everywhere. gay kids are targets everywhere. it doesn't contribute anything to any discussion to say, "oh it was because it was south carolina." i would strongly encourage you, and all of you, to not diminish an entire population because of individual actions. that kind of thinking is just as dangerous and pointless and bigoted.

    Posted by: dan | May 18, 2007 10:27:18 AM

  12. I'm a SC native too, upstate - an hour west of Greenville. I love that place and honestly, people there have a bigger problem with me being an atheist than they ever did with me being gay.

    I'm with Dan - hatred is everywhere.

    Posted by: sc native | May 18, 2007 10:41:13 AM

  13. It is so horribly sad that this kid died, however, the article is simply saying he may have fallen and hit his head on the pavement after being punched. I'm not in ANY way suggesting this was fact, any physical altercation outside a designated ring is just wrong altogether. I grew up in a small North Texas town and had my own share of scraps with stupid people and once got punched in the mouth when I wasn't even looking by a drunk moron because he didn't like my friggin hair. It was the 80s for chrissakes! Maybe I've said this before, I don't know. BUT, if the kid died 17 hours later, it sounds more to me like he should have been taken for an MRI after such a head injury. I wonder if the real case here isn't neglect, and why he didn't seek medical attention. Was it fear? Ignorance? Lack of medical insurance? Seventeen HOURS is a long time later, folks!

    I'm with Dan too. Judging an entire state by an incident is foolish. There were gay bashings in Hillcrest when I lived in San Diego! That's like the gayest neighborhood in the country next to maybe the Castro or the various gayborhoods of New York.

    Posted by: FizziekruntNT | May 18, 2007 11:10:11 AM

  14. What's most disturbing is that I live 45 minutes away, and this is the first I've heard of it. Had this been a blond hair "christian" girl, it would have been all over the news.

    Posted by: Marshall Lee | May 18, 2007 11:12:48 AM

  15. Can someone check on Leland and Zeke? They havedn't posted yet and I'm worried they may have met some sort of misadventure.

    Posted by: Becks07 | May 18, 2007 11:19:47 AM

  16. hey marshall -- i did a google search on this and added a google news alert so i could stay up to date. i want to know when they catch the bastard, you know? anyway, just so you know, it seems to be a top story on most of the local tv stations, even as far away as atlanta. hope that makes you feel better about your locale.

    Posted by: dan | May 18, 2007 11:20:42 AM

  17. I grew up in Greenville and never had an issue. I came out at work (at the Greenville News), told my friends and spent many Saturday nights downtown with boyfriends and at the gay bar, the Castle. I'm not saying it's San Francisco but this does happen everywhere, including Baltimore, where I live now.

    Posted by: Greg | May 18, 2007 11:22:55 AM

  18. awww...the castle...thanks for the memories greg!

    Posted by: dan | May 18, 2007 11:27:44 AM

  19. A man has been arrested. SC has no hate crime legislation, so evidence been turned over to the FBI to determine if they can charge him with a hate crime based on federal legislation.

    And Fizzie- he was found unconcious at the scene and taken to the hospital where he stayed.

    Posted by: Matt | May 18, 2007 11:28:44 AM

  20. A man has been arrested. SC has no hate crime legislation, so evidence been turned over to the FBI to determine if they can charge him with a hate crime based on federal legislation.

    And Fizzie- he was found unconcious at the scene and taken to the hospital where he stayed.

    Posted by: Matt | May 18, 2007 11:29:14 AM

  21. Simply sad.

    The rest of the media (not even gay oriented media) never broadcasts gay killings unless we unite in anger. Whatever happened to us after Shepperd?

    Posted by: Damon | May 18, 2007 11:35:11 AM

  22. hey matt - do you have any more news on the arrest...also, anyone in the area know if there will be a vigil for this poor guy? i have family members who would want to go, if anyone has word on it, let me know alright?

    Posted by: dan | May 18, 2007 11:39:56 AM



    For details on arrest.

    Posted by: Matt | May 18, 2007 11:46:01 AM

  24. Any connection to Falwell?

    Posted by: anon | May 18, 2007 12:27:23 PM

  25. I grew up in Gilbert, SC (30-40 minutes west of Columbia) and it really wasn't all that bad, honestly. Now I live in LA and I miss South Carolina a lot...more than I did when I first left, at least. It's not a bad place to grow up, even if you are gay, and like other people have said, there are stupid people everywhere, including in LA.

    Posted by: Robbie | May 18, 2007 1:50:17 PM

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