Bond denied for Walterboro triple shooting suspect

WALTERBORO, SC (WCSC) - Bond was denied Wednesday for a 49-year-old man suspected of chasing down and shooting three people in Walterboro.

Walterboro police arrested Ervin Sanders Jr., of Round O, and charged him with four counts of attempted murder, possession of a firearm during a violent felony, discharging a firearm in the city limits and unlawful carrying of a gun.

A day after three people were chased down and shot, authorities released new information that says the shooting started after a man came to the aid of a woman who was being hit in the head by her boyfriend at a gas station.

Law enforcement agencies in Walterboro are still piecing together the shooting, which injured four people outside the Colleton County Jail Tuesday.

The incident began around 12:30 p.m. with a domestic dispute at the El Cheapo gas station on Sniders Highway and ended with the shooting near the jail's salley port.

Police say that Sanders assaulted his girlfriend in the head during a domestic dispute at the El Cheapo gas station. During the argument, a witness approached their car and intervened, telling Sanders to stop hitting her like that. After a verbal argument between the two men, the witness punched Sanders in the face to stop him from further assaulting the woman, police say.

"My son and my brother are against men hitting women, so they jumped in trying to be a good Samaritan, and the outcome, this is what happened," Trena Richards said.

At that point, police say Sanders fled the area, retrieved his gun and drove after the witness' car. Sanders located his car, which had three other people inside, and pulled up beside the vehicle. He then fired several shots at the car causing the driver of the victim's car to speed up in and effort to escape from Sanders.

The victims drove to the jail's parking lot seeking help, but Sanders pulled his car next to theirs and fired again at the vehicle. This time, he struck three of the victims.

One man was hit in the neck and flown to MUSC. A second victim was shot in the upper right thigh, another was shot in the right ankle and the fourth victim suffered a scrape to her forehead due to glass breaking while being shot at.

"That's four people's lives that could have been taken yesterday over this guy being crazy. They're trying to help, it's just sad," Richards said.

After the shooting, Sanders drove off and was located by officers a short time later and placed under arrest. According to authorities, Sanders' daughter was in a separate car next to his at the time of his arrest.

Officers located the gun and several spent shell casings inside of Sanders' car. The gun was found wedged between the driver's seat and the center console. Sanders had a cut on his lip after being punched by the witness. The cut required three stitches. Sanders has a prior arrest for soliciting a prostitute.

Walterboro Mayor Bill Young says increasing crime in the town is a big concern. In the past month and a half, Live 5 News has reported five shootings or shots fired in town, two burglaries, and three drug related arrests.

"As long as we have people we're going to have crime and these things are going to continue. Our job is to try to lesson it, to suppress it. When we can apprehend the people responsible and bring them to justice as quickly as possible," Mayor Bill Young said.

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