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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

LEXINGTON COUNTY, SC - Lexington County Sheriff’s Department deputies arrested a 24-year-old Pelion man on Tuesday, January 15 on charges that the man fired shots at least five times from a handgun at a green 1994 Chevrolet C-1500 pickup truck at about 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday in the 100 block of Canal Drive near Pelion. A 16-year-old girl who was a passenger in the pickup truck suffered a gunshot wound to her back. Two other persons who were riding in the truck were not injured.

Lexington County Sheriff James R. Metts said detectives obtained arrest warrants for Benton W. Chavis, Jr., 24, of 420 Canal Drive, Pelion, on three counts of attempted murder, one count of discharging a firearm into a motor vehicle that is occupied and one count of possessing a weapon during the commission of a violent crime. Chavis was being held on Wednesday, January 16 at the Lexington County Detention Center while awaiting a bond hearing.

Chavis is scheduled to appear in court at 3 p.m. on Wednesday for a bond hearing, Metts said. The bond hearing will be conducted at a courtroom that is adjacent to the front entrance of the Detention Center at the Lexington County James R. Metts Law Enforcement Complex, 521 Gibson Road, Lexington.

Arrest warrants allege that at about 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday Chavis willfully, unlawfully and with malice aforethought fired at least five shots from a handgun at the 1994 Chevrolet C-1500 pickup truck in which the 16-year-old girl was riding as a passenger, Metts said. The 16-year-old girl suffered a gunshot wound to her back.

The 16-year-old girl was transported by ambulance to Palmetto Health Richland Hospital, where she was continuing to receive treatment on Wednesday for her gunshot wound, Metts said.

The 16-year-old girl’s injury does not appear to be life-threatening, Metts said. Under South Carolina law, Metts said he cannot release information that could identify the girl because the girl is a child and crime victim.

One of the persons riding in the Chevrolet pickup truck provided deputies with a detailed physical description of Chavis following the shooting incident, Metts said. Two additional witnesses identified Chavis as the man who fired shots from a handgun at the pickup truck.

The driver of the Chevrolet pickup truck told deputies that he encountered Chavis and four or five additional persons who were walking in the roadway in the 100 block of Canal Drive, Metts said. As he approached the persons in the roadway, the driver told deputies that he asked them to get out of the roadway. The driver told deputies that one of the persons in the group began yelling obscenities and fired shots at the pickup truck as he drove away from the group.

Deputies later found four bullet holes in the left rear side of the Chevrolet pickup truck and one bullet hole in the glass at the rear of the truck’s passenger’s compartment, Metts said.

Detectives developed information that Chavis was involved in the shooting incident and went to Chavis’ home, where detectives later arrested Chavis without incident, Metts said.

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