By Heather Ruppe
Two Colleton County men who opened fire at a local gas station and critically injured a man are in custody and are expected to face more charges.
The shooting occurred at about 5 p.m. on Sept. 16th, at the Northside Pak-A-Sak Convenience Store on Sidneys Road, near Walterboro.
The suspects – 21-year-old Brandon Brown and 19-year-old Nikal Aiken– are accused of firing several rounds at the victim and two other people who were inside his Honda accord.
“Following the shooting, the victim’s vehicle struck the fuel pumps,” said Colleton County Fire-Rescue Chief Barry McRoy.
The shooting victim, whose identity has not yet been released, was first taken to Colleton Medical Center by ambulance. From there, he was flown via CARE Flight medical helicopter to the Trauma Center at Trident Medial Center in North Charleston. His medical condition is not known.
Two other people inside his car at the time of the shooting fled from the vehicle. They have not been located.
According to Colleton County Spokesman Shalane Tindal, the shooting began moments prior, when the victim and the suspects began shooting at each other from their vehicles.
“Detectives obtained evidence showing a Honda and a Dodge truck shooting at each other,” she said. “The Dodge truck fled the scene – and the two additional occupants of the crashed Honda fled on foot, leaving behind the wounded driver.
“During the initial investigation, deputies responded to a local neighborhood for further reports of gunfire. There were no injuries at this location; however, detectives confirmed both incidents are connected,” said Tindal.
Both Brown and Aiken were arrested “within hours” of when the shooting occurred, she said.
Brown is charged with Attempted Murder.
Aiken is charged with Accessory After the Fact to Attempted Murder.
As of press deadline, both Aiken and Brown are being held at the Colleton County Detention Center and are awaiting their bond hearings.
During their investigation into this shooting, local detectives recovered two guns from Aiken that are believed to have been used in the shootings, said Tindal.
This investigation is still ongoing, and both men are expected to soon face additional charges. The sheriff’s office is also expected to make more arrests in this case, according to Tindal.
Anyone who has information about this crime is asked to contact the Colleton County Sheriff’s Office at 843-549-2211.