A South Carolina man being sought in connection with a night club shooting on Jan. 12 has been apprehended in Beaufort County. The Jasper County Sheriff’s Office announced on March 3 that the 19-year-old Helena Island resident was taken into custody by deputies from the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office and officers from the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division. He has been charged with homicide and using a firearm to commit a violent crime and is being detained at the Jasper County Detention Center.
The shooting took place at a night club on U.S. Route 17 in Point South at approximately 2:00 a.m. According to a JCSO report, shots were fired when two groups of people became involved in a confrontation inside the club. A short time later, more shots rang out outside the club as the individuals involved and guests tried to leave the establishment. A 23-year-old Ridgeland man suffered a gunshot wound to his chest during the incident and died while he was being transported by paramedics to Beaufort Memorial Hospital. A man and a woman suffered minor arm injuries after being grazed by bullets.
A JCSO representative thanked the JCSO and SCLED for their help in locating and apprehending the man, and he also said that the investigation into the shooting remains open. While he said that more arrests are possible, he did not reveal how police identified the man as their prime suspect or what his motive may have been for allegedly opening fire.
Crimes like this one are often committed in the heat of the moment, and experienced criminal defense attorneys may make this point vigorously during plea negotiations when their clients have no previous criminal history and are charged with committing violent offenses. While this may not be a defense to a murder charge, it is a mitigating factor that should be taken into consideration when determining the appropriate sentence.