Homicide

Man killed while on 911 call, seeking help for slain friend; 'I've been shot, he shot me too!'

After a retired South Carolina high school football coach was shot to death, his neighbor went to check on him and was also killed with a shotgun blast while on the phone with an emergency dispatcher, according to a 911 call released Thursday.

Dickie Stewart saw his neighbor and friend Bill Isaacs lying in another neighbor's yard and called emergency operators as he checked on him Monday morning, Pickens County Sheriff Rick Clark said at a news conference.

Stewart was talking to the operator when a bang was suddenly heard and he screamed. "I've been shot," he yelled, letting out a gasp and a loud moan. "He shot me too!"

Stewart, 65, died, along with Isaacs, a 75-year-old former Pickens High School football coach and member of the South Carolina Athletic Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

The owner of the home where the bodies were found was arrested minutes later at his house in the neighborhood north of the town of Pickens. Albert Bowen, 64, is charged with two counts of murder, Clark said. Bowen remains in jail. It wasn't known if he had an attorney.

About 10 minutes before the killings, a detective had been in the neighborhood talking to Isaacs, who reported someone may have been shooting at his home and vehicles with a pellet gun, the sheriff said. It was the third such damage report Isaacs had made to deputies in just over a year.

The detective headed back to his station to get some paperwork and his computer and Isaacs told him he was going to take a walk. Isaacs was face-down in Bowen's yard minutes later, Clark said.

It's too soon to say whether Bowen had been firing at Isaacs' vehicles or why he shot and killed his neighbor and the man who came to help, the sheriff said.

Clark praised Stewart for coming to check on his friend and asked the media to respect his family's privacy in deciding whether to air the 911 tape that captured his death.

"Dickie was a guardian to the end," Clark said.

Isaacs took over the football team at Pickens High in 1965 after they lost 33 straight games. He coached for 27 years, winning nine conference titles and finishing with 181 wins.

The sheriff said Isaacs molded a generation of men in Pickens County, including many at the sheriff's office.

"We're pretty emotionally involved in this case," Clark said.

Pickens is about 125 miles northwest of Columbia.

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Follow Jeffrey Collins on Twitter at http://twitter.com/JSCollinsAP