Editor’s Note: Please note the following correction. Walterboro Public Safety has verified that the suspect’s name is Ervin Sanders, Jr., not Erwin. He is currently being denied bond.
Walterboro, S.C. – Yesterday, around 12:31 p.m., Walterboro Public Safety officers responded to vehicle (a black Ford) chasing another vehicle (a red Lincoln) firing shots on East Washington Street. The vehicles then turned onto N. Jefferies Blvd and headed north. Officers stopped the suspect vehicle (the black Ford) at N. Jefferies and Robertson Blvd. The black Ford was occupied by Erwin Sanders, Jr., of Round O, S.C.
Officers recovered a black handgun from that vehicle. While on the traffic stop, officers received further information about the shooting victims (from the red Lincoln) who were at the Colleton County Jail and responded there as well. The victims were taken to Colleton Regional Medical Center.
After speaking to the victims and interviewing the suspect, it appears that the shooting was the result of a criminal domestic violence incident. According to reports, the suspect and an unidentified female were involved in a physical altercation at El Cheapo Gas Station (located at 1122 Sniders Highway) at approximately 12:20 p.m. The victims saw the altercation and intervened, which resulted in the suspect being assaulted by one of the victims.
It was also reported that as the suspect left the scene, he was threatening to return. After the victims departed on Sniders Highway toward the center of town, the suspect began to follow them. When they turned left onto Ivanhoe Road, the suspect fired. The victim accelerated and turned on to Washington Street, then N. Jefferies and then turned onto Benson Street toward the Colleton County Sheriff’s Office Detention Center. The victims pulled behind the detention center near the “sally port” entrance where the suspect again fired at the victims.
The suspect then left the victims at the detention center where he was stopped by Walterboro Public Safety officers on North Jefferies near Robertson Blvd. Officers did recover a 9mm handgun from the suspect’s car. After the suspect was interviewed, he was arrested and transported to Colleton County Detention Center. The victims were taken to Colleton Regional Medical Center in stable condition, and one was flown to MUSC in Charleston.
Mayor Bill Young of the City of Walterboro expressed his concern for the victims, and for any victim of a domestic violence situation. “This is an unfortunate situation for all involved, and yet another reminder that domestic violence continues to be a problem. Domestic violence is wide ranging, affecting society as a whole and, in this case, the safety of those who chose to intervene,” said Young.
Anyone with additional information about this incident should contact the Walterboro Public Safety Department at 843-549-1811 or 843-549-1812, or Crime Stoppers at 1-888-CRIME-S.C. (www.S.C.crimestoppers.com).
Note: parties involved are listed below. A photo of Erwin Sanders is available upon request. No other pictures are available at this time.
Suspect: Erwin Sanders Jr., 49 years old of Round O, S.C.
Victims: Kewaun Richards, 21 years old of Walterboro, S.C.
Charkis Richards, 23 years old of Walterboro, S.C.
James Murdaugh, 23 years old of Walterboro, S.C.
Sylina Brooks, 22 years old of Batesburg, S.C.