SUMTER, S.C. — Four people were shot in Sumter in what the police chief says was 'active shooter' situation where random people were targeted by a lone gunman.
Chief Russell Roark spoke late Monday afternoon about the shooting, which they believe was conducted by a one man, identified as 25-year-old Ozzy Alexander Mooneyham, formerly Mindy Mooneyham, at two separate locations: an apartment complex and a tire shop.
"Make no mistake, this was an active shooter situation," the chief said."The individual was determined to cause chaos and harm to members of our community."
According to Roark, the situation began just before 7:30 a.m., when emergency dispatch got a call of shots fired at the Chestnut Pointe Apartments on Roxbury Court. Officers say a man armed with a gun and wearing a camo hat began shooting inside the complex.
One woman was hit by gunfire, and went to Palmetto Health Tuomey for treatment. An off-duty deputy was at the complex too and was fired at by the shooter, but was not hurt, investigators said.
At 7:45 a.m., Roark said the Mooneyham went to Palmetto Tires on Wesmark Boulevard and started firing at people who were there. The bullets struck one woman and two men. Those victims were also taken to the hospital.
Less than five minutes later, two Sumter County deputies pulled over Mooneyham's car on Miller Road, after getting a vehicle description from dispatch. The suspect was taken into custody without incident.
Inside the car, officers said they found a .22 caliber rifle with an extended magazine that officers believe he used during the crime.
Roark said while Mooneyham did live at the apartment complex, the suspect had no intended targets, either there or at the tire shop.
"These people were merely minding their own business," he said. "They were just there at the wrong place at the wrong time."
The chief also ruled out any idea that this was gang-related. The suspect has no prior criminal history.
The chief praised the actions of his officers, which he said may have saved lives. "[The supsect] was intent on causing harm to others."
Mooneyham faces seven charges of attempted murder, was well as gun possession charges.
News19 spoke to tire store employees who were outside at the time, who say they witnessed the suspect.
"Got in his car and he backed out just like a normal customer," one employee said. "How did he pick us out randomly? Look at all these places out here and he picked us."
One man who works next door to Palmetto Tire says he saw a mechanic, with the auto shop, helping a woman.
"He was putting pressure on her front and back," says Mark House. "We didn't know she had been shot."
House says he was surprised he didn't hear the gunshots.
"Having somebody shot near you and knowing that it could've been you or your coworkers," says House. "It wouldn't have been so bad if we had heard something. So that we could get into the mindset of 'okay, we need to protect ourselves.'"