One day after prominent Lowcountry attorney Alex Murdaugh — who has been named a person of interest in the recent murders of his wife and son — was shot in Hampton County, South Carolina, the lead investigating agency in both cases confirmed details in the high-profile shooting.
According to the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED), Alex Murdaugh called 911 to report that he’d been shot on Old Salkehatchie Road near Varnville, S.C. at 1:34 p.m. on Saturday, September 4.
The shooting occurred about seven miles from Moselle — the family hunting lodge where Alex Murdaugh discovered the bodies of his 52-year-old wife Maggie Murdaugh and their son 22-year-old Paul Murdaugh on June 7, 2021.
The Hampton County Sheriff’s Office secured the scene and dispatched SLED for assistance at 2:41 p.m. The sheriff’s office requested that SLED lead the investigation.
Alex Murdaugh was airlifted to Memorial Health University Medical Center in Savannah, Georgia for treatment of “a superficial gunshot wound to the head,” SLED said.
On Saturday, Murdaugh family attorney Jim Griffin told reporters at The (Hilton Head, S.C.) Island Packet his client stopped on the side of the road after experiencing “car trouble” while traveling to Charleston, S.C. from his home in Islandton. However, the location of the shooting is out of the way from the direct route to Charleston from Islandton.
Griffin also told reporters that Alex was taken to MUSC in Charleston — which appears to be incorrect information.
A statement from the family on Saturday did not elaborate on the nature or extent of Alex Murdaugh’s injuries, although it indicated he was expected to recover from them.
“The Murdaugh family has suffered through more than any one family could ever imagine,” a family spokesman said shortly after 6:00 p.m. EDT Saturday. “We expect Alex to recover and ask for your privacy while he recovers.”
SLED agents processed the scene throughout the night and didn’t leave until early Sunday morning. As a part of their investigation, SLED officials interviewed potential witnesses and took Murdaugh’s vehicle into custody.
“A black Mercedes-Benz SUV driven by Alex Murdaugh was initially processed and ultimately towed from the scene to a law enforcement impound lot for further evaluation,” SLED officials said in their statement.
In its release, SLED officials said they are being careful about what information they release in the investigation.
“As we have previously stated, we cannot and will not do anything that could jeopardize the integrity of this or any potentially related investigation or that would violate the due process afforded to all in our constitutional system of justice,” SLED officials said.
As of Sunday afternoon, no arrests have been made in the Saturday shooting. SLED has not released any information on potential suspects or vehicle descriptions involved.
“SLED is committed to conducting a professional and thorough criminal investigation,” the agency’s statement said. “SLED is further committed to transparency and will provide any additional releasable information at the appropriate time.
SLED officials are asking anyone with information about the shooting to call Crimestoppers of the Lowcountry at 843-554-1111.
Double Homicide Investigation
The next day, a source close to the investigation told FITSNews founding editor Will Folks that Alex Murdaugh was still considered “a person of interest” in the investigation. Another source said he had “not been excluded.”
In June, a Good Morning America journalist who spoke with the Murdaugh family reported that Alex was taking his father Randolph Murdaugh III — who died of cancer three days after the murders — to the hospital on the day of the killings. After that, he reportedly checked in on his mother before returning to the hunting property, known locally as Moselle. This could be the “ironclad” alibi Alex Murdaugh is said to have provided police.
Click below to hear the 911 call from Alex Murdaugh around 10:00 p.m. June 7, 2021.
FITSNews recently obtained Paul Murdaugh’s death certificate, which confirmed Paul Murdaugh was killed by two shotgun wounds to the head and chest.
This news outlet has yet to obtain a death certificate for 52-year-old Maggie Murdaugh, who was reportedly shot and killed by a semi-automatic rifle at or around the time her son was killed.
While law enforcement has released little information about its investigation – and has actively sought to plug leaks of information – here is what we know so far about the evidence found on scene.
- At least one of the weapons used in the double homicide belonged to the Murdaugh family, a source told FITSNews.
- Law enforcement impounded a 2021 Chevy Suburban registered to the Murdaugh law firm from the scene.
- Deputies found shell casings at the scene, according to the report.
- SLED agents requested that Colleton Country Sheriff’s deputies search the area near the crime scene for video surveillance systems on the morning after the murders.
- On June 16, SLED agents were seen collecting evidence in a swampy area near the Salkehatchie River, approximately two miles south of Moselle.
- Maggie Murdaugh‘s cell phone was found along a rural South Carolina road just outside of the family’s 1,700-acre hunting lodge the day after the murder, according to sources close to the investigation.
More than two weeks after the murders, a public relations firm hired by the Murdaugh family released a statement announcing a $100,000 reward to anyone providing tips that lead to arrests by law enforcement. However, tips must be submitted before September 30, 2021 to qualify for the reward.
No arrests have been made in the double homicide.
At the time of his death, Paul Murdaugh was facing three felony boating under the influence charges in connection with a 2019 boat crash that killed 19-year-old Mallory Beach.
The Murdaugh family is one of the most powerful families in South Carolina. Three generations of Murdaughs all served as solicitors over a five-county region in the South Carolina Lowcountry from 1920-2006, enabling the family to amass hundreds of political, prosecutorial and law enforcement connections.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR..
Mandy Matney is the news director at FITSNews. She’s an investigative journalist from Kansas who has worked for newspapers in Missouri, Illinois, and South Carolina before making the switch to FITS. She currently lives on Hilton Head Island where she enjoys beach life. Mandy also hosts the Murdaugh Murders podcast. Want to contact Mandy? Send your story ideas, comments, suggestions and tips to [email protected].
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