COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A lawyer from a prominent South Carolina legal family who found his wife and son shot to death at their home three months ago had a bullet graze his head as he changed a tire on a rural road, investigators said.
Alex Murdaugh was able to call 911 after he was hurt Saturday afternoon on Salkehatchie Road in Hampton County, according to the State Law Enforcement Division, which released a few details 24 hours after the incident.
Murdaugh’s Mercedes-Benz SUV was towed to a garage to be examined, state police said in one of the few other details in the Sunday statement.
South Carolina’s state police are also the lead agency investigating the deaths of Maggie Murdaugh, 52, and her 22-year-old son Paul on June 7. Both were both shot several times and found outside the house near dog kennels, authorities said.
Alex Murdaugh found the bodies of his wife and son after family members said he had been away checking on his mother and ailing father.
A family attorney said Murdaugh was shot at by someone in a pickup truck that first passed by him as he changed the tire and then came back and fired at him.
The family later issued a statement. “The Murdaugh family has suffered through more than any one family can ever imagine,” it read. “We expect Alex to recover and ask for your privacy while he recovers.” He was brought to a hospital after the shooting but his condition was not immediately known.
State police have released few details about the June killings, even going to court to fight public record requests.
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.
The current elected prosecutor isn’t a family member, but stepped aside last month after citing developments in the case without giving any additional details.
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.