The prominent South Carolina attorney who was shot in the head just a few months after he found his wife and son murdered at the family estate suffered only a superficial wound and called 911 himself, authorities said Sunday.
The shooting of Alex Murdaugh on Saturday in Charleston is the latest twist a drama that has roiled the rural community where his forebears have served as county prosecutor for decades.
But the incident remains largely shrouded in mystery, with both the motive and a suspect still unidentified.
Murdaugh’s lawyer told The State that his client was driving on a remote road to Charleston to when his car malfunctioned. He got out to change a tire on his black Mercedes-Benz SUV when he was shot, a law enforcement official told The Daily Beast.
He was flown to Savannah’s Memorial Health University Medical Center, where he was said to be conscious and communicating. The State Law Enforcement Division, meanwhile, dispatched a team to the crime scene to look for clues.
In a statement after Saturday’s incident, the Murdaugh family said it “has suffered through more than any one family can ever imagine. We expect Alex to recover and ask for your privacy while he recovers.”
It’s not yet clear if there is any connection between the weekend shooting and the still-unsolved homicide of the other family members.
Alex Murdaugh’s 52-year-old wife Maggie and 22-year-old son Paul were found with fatal gunshot wounds at the family’s 1,700-acre hunting estate in Colleton County on June 7—the mother apparently shot with a rifle and the son shot in the head with a shotgun. Alex Murdaugh told police he was not home at the time of the killings, and no suspects have been named.
At the time of his death, Paul had been charged with three felonies for allegedly killing a teenager named Mallory Beach on a boat in 2019. Authorities said Paul was intoxicated when he drove the boat into a bridge piling near Parris Island after an oyster roast. Her body was not found for a week.
Dashcam video captured one of the passengers telling police that they doubted Paul Murdaugh would face justice for the death.
“That motherfucker needs to rot in fucking prison,” the person was heard saying. “He ain’t gonna get in no fucking trouble.”
Paul Murdaugh pleaded not guilty, and Beach’s mother filed a wrongful death suit against the family.
Surviving members of the family said Paul had received death threats over Beach’s death in the months leading up to his own murder.
Patriarchs of the Murdaugh family have wielded great legal power for more than a century. Multiple generations of men in the family served as solicitors for the 14th Judicial Circuit.
As one local man previously told The State, “They are the law around here.”