SLED investigating after Murdaugh family member shot while changing car tire in Hampton County

State - Regional

HAMPTON COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) – Another member of a South Carolina family who is well-known in the legal community and tied to a murder mystery was found shot on Saturday.

The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division was called in to assist the Hampton County Sheriff’s Office in their investigation after Alex Murdaugh was found shot along a rural road in Hampton County.

Law enforcement officials in Hampton County say Murdaugh had been shot in the head near his car in the 15000 block of Salkahatchie Road, not far from his family’s property across the county line. There have been no arrests in the case.

On Sunday, SLED released new information on the shooting that confirmed earlier reports by police and family members that said Murdaugh told 911 that he had been shot on Old Salkehatchie Road near Varnville, South Carolina.

According to SLED, Murdaugh suffered a superficial gunshot wound and was airlifted to Memorial Health University Medical Center by EMS in Savannah, Georgia.

According to a family attorney and Alex Murdaugh’s brother, Randy, Alex was changing a tire on the side of the road when a car pulled up and fired. They say Alex called 9-1-1 himself.

The shooting comes only months after Alex discovered his son and wife had been shot to death at the family property in the Islandton community of Colleton County.

A family spokesperson told News 2 that Alex was still alive late Saturday afternoon and issued the following statement: “The Murdaugh family has suffered through more than any one family could ever imagine. We expect Alex to recover and ask for your privacy while he recovers.”

This is just the latest incident involving the prominent legal family that held the position as 14th Circuit Solicitor for nearly a hundred years in the Lowcountry. Stephen Smith is the earliest death linked to the family; he was found dead on July 8, 2015, in the middle of a road near the family’s Colleton County property.

Smith was found with a large hole in his right forehead, and was known to be friends with the Murdaugh’s oldest son, Buster. Smith’s death was ruled a hit-and-run at the time. No suspects have been named in that case, but SLED announced in mid-June it was reopening the case based on information gathered during the investigation into the shooting deaths of Paul and Margaret Murdaugh.

On February 24th, 2019, Paul Murdaugh was allegedly driving his father’s boat while intoxicated with five friends after leaving a party in the early morning hours in Beaufort County. At some point, the boat crashed into a bridge piling near Parris Island. The crash threw Paul and two other passengers into Archers Creek, including Mallory Beach, resulting in her death.

Beach’s body was recovered nearly a week later. Charges against Paul Murdaugh were dropped, but there have been recent rumblings from those closely connected to the investigation that the Murdaugh family attempted to steer investigators away from putting the responsibility on Paul. A lawsuit that was recently filed against the family is pending.

On the night of June 7th, Alex Murdaugh found his son and wife brutally shot on the family’s Colleton County property. Alex called local law enforcement before SLED took over the investigation. A death certificate for Paul Murdaugh confirmed he had been shot once in the face and once in the chest, while the certificate for Margaret has yet to be released. 

The bodies were found near a dog kennel more than a half-mile from the house.

14th Circuit Solicitor Duffie Stone, who worked under Alex’s father, Randolph, spoke for the first time earlier this week after recusing himself from the double homicide investigation, saying the family connection didn’t play a role in the recusal, and that he used his best legal judgment to make the decision.

“I knew there was an ethical issue and I needed advice on it. I got that advice and I followed that advice and that’s what prosecutors are supposed to do. You don’t get out of a case because it’s uncomfortable or tell you it’s something you should do.”

Investigations related to both the double homicide and Alex Murdaugh shooting are ongoing. Count on 2 for the latest developments and keep checking for updates.

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