Sheriff: Fatal Colleton Co. shooting could be drug-related

Scene of the shooting in Ruffin. (Source: Live 5 News)
Scene of the shooting in Ruffin. (Source: Live 5 News)
A 9-year-old girl was flown to MUSC and is expected to be okay. (Source: Live 5)
A 9-year-old girl was flown to MUSC and is expected to be okay. (Source: Live 5)

COLLETON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - Colleton County investigators are looking into the possibility the shooting that killed three and sent a 9-year-old to the hospital was drug-related.

Colleton County Sheriff Andy Strickland said detectives worked the crime scene in Ruffin until 4 a.m., nearly 11 hours after the initial emergency call came in.

The sheriff said he believes the shooting was not a random attack and that at least one of the victims knew the shooter or shooters.

Earlier Wednesday, the Colleton County Coroner's Office identified the victims Wednesday morning as Phillip Miller, 46; Lori Miller, 52, and Vincent Miller, 13.

The girl, the couple's grandchild and a niece to the teen, was taken to MUSC after being shot in the leg, Strickland said.

Investigators found the two adults inside the home and the children outside the home.

Strickland said marijuana was found inside the home.

"We will do whatever we can to give these victims closure and give their families closure to put whoever is responsible behind bars who committed a horrible crime such as this," Strickland said.

The State Law Enforcement Division is also assisting in the investigation.

The initial emergency call for the incident came in around 4:50 p.m.

The investigation is ongoing as detectives continue to follow up on leads from Wednesday night.

Strickland said a cash reward is expected to be offered for information leading to an arrest.

The sheriff said it's never easy to work a crime scene with this many victims.

"Very heartbreaking, it touches home," Strickland said. "Anytime that you have a fatality, anyone who was shot or shot innocently especially when it involves a child."

And he has a message for the killer or killers.

"The bad guys watching? We're coming to get him, and we're coming," Strickland said.

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