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South Carolina

Prominent South Carolina Lawyer Shot Months After Wife, Son Slain

Updated 3:45 p.m. Sunday

A lawyer from a prominent South Carolina legal family who found his wife and son shot to death at their home three months ago was shot in the head and wounded Saturday after he had car trouble on a lonely rural road, a family attorney said.

Alex Murdaugh was heading to Charleston when his car had stopped on Salkehatchie Road in Hampton County, his lawyer Jim Griffin told The State newspaper.

A truck passed Murdaugh on the road before turning around and then someone in the vehicle shot him, Griffin added. The lawyer said he received that information from Murdaugh's brother, Randy.

Murdaugh was airlifted to the Memorial Health University Medical Center in Savannah, Georgia, according to the State Law Enforcement Division, South Carolina's top law enforcement agency, which confirmed the shooting.

"SLED regional agents and crime scene agents worked throughout the night into Sunday morning collecting evidence, processing the crime scene, interviewing potential witnesses and following up on potential leads," agency spokesperson Tommy Crosby said Sunday.

SLED released no further details Sunday, other than that agents had taken Murdaugh's SUV to examine it for evidence. Local deputies referred questions to the state police.

“The Murdaugh family has suffered through more than any one family can ever imagine," said a statement released by Murdaugh relatives Saturday evening. “We expect Alex to recover and ask for your privacy while he recovers.”

Murdaugh, 53, found his wife and son shot to death at their Colleton County home on June 7. No arrests have been made, and state police have released little information, even going to court to fight public records requests.

Maggie Murdaugh, 52, and her 22-year-old son Paul were both shot several times and found outside the house near dog kennels, authorities said.

Alex Murdaugh said on a 911 call he had just returned home and in a later TV interview said he was out checking on his terminally ill father when his wife and son were killed.

The Murdaughs are one of South Carolina’s most prominent legal families. Alex Murdaugh was a volunteer prosecutor in the same office where his father, grandfather and great-grandfather spent more than 80 years combined as the area's top prosecutors. Other members of the family are prominent civil attorneys.

When Paul Murdaugh was killed, he was awaiting trial for boating under the influence causing death in a February 2019 crash that killed a 19-year-old woman. State police have since started looking into the investigation into that crash to see if anyone tried to keep police from charging Paul Murdaugh.

After the Murdaughs deaths, state police also reopened an investigation into a 2015 hit-and-run death of a 19-year-old man in Hampton County. The victim’s mother said she thought Paul Murdaugh could have been involved.

Authorities haven't released any information about why those cases we reopened.

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Corrected: September 5, 2021 at 3:47 PM EDT
This story was updated after SLED released more details to show that Alex Murdaugh was hospitalized in Savannah, Georgia, instead of Charleston, South Carolina.