Homeless man found beaten to death under Upstate SC bridge, police say

A man believed to have been homeless was found beaten to death under a Spartanburg bridge, according to law enforcement.

Steven Shawn Smith, 31, was found in the early hours of Monday morning having suffered blunt force trauma to the back of his head and neck.

The death is being investigated as a homicide, according to a statement released by the Spartanburg Police Department.

Around 3 a.m. on March 27, a call was made from the Miracle Hill Rescue mission, an emergency shelter for people experiencing homelessness, reporting that there was a man under a nearby bridge who did not appear to be breathing.

Officers found the body under a bridge near North Forest Street and Clinton Street, an intersection above a set of train tracks near downtown Spartanburg.

Smith was found dead when officers arrived, according to the police department. He appeared to have been struck several times with a blunt object.

“Ultimately, we are looking at this as a suspicious death that was caused by the hands of another,” Spartanburg Police Captain Tim Metz told WSPA-TV.

Spartanburg County Coroner Rusty Clevenger told several media outlets that he believed Smith may have been living under the bridge with several people.

Major Art Littlejohn told the Post and Courier Greenville that he believed the killing was an isolated incident, unlike the spree of attacks on homeless people in Greenville County from 2021 to 2022. The Greenville County Sheriff’s Office ultimately charged five individuals who filmed themselves attacking homeless encampments.