Spartanburg County Sheriff Chuck Wright said two suspects were arrested recently after they used high-powered rifles to shoot at random people.
Wright held a press conference Thursday to discuss the arrests of two men with lengthy records, and said the shootings reminded him of the D.C. sniper case.
He said the suspects laid in a field several hundred yards away and waited for people so they could shoot them.
The two men, identified as 17-year-old Mattison Schomer and 20-year-old Bryan Holder, used a hunting rifle with a scope in the shootings they know of, but they only hit one woman, Wright said.
The sheriff said the suspects would lay in a field in a field between the Raceway and the abandoned Winn-Dixie store along Asheville Highway firing multiple shots on July 2.
In one of the shootings, deputies said a man was pressure washing the pumps at the Ingles Gas Mart car wash, but he was not hit. Deputies said the rounds struck a building beside Ingles, breaking some glass.
Wright said the men also shot at a car at the Raceway gas station near the Ingles and hit a 19-year-old woman but missed the driver.
One of the bullets went through the passenger side of the car, struck the girl in the back and lodged in the console of the car in the direction of the driver, investigators said. The girl is expected to survive.
"I wish they could get the death penalty on this," said Wright. "We are going to fight for tougher laws and to bring back the chain gang."
Wright said the two clearly wanted to kill someone and if deputies had not caught them, they would most likely be investigating a homicide by now.
Investigators do not believe there was any connection between the victims and suspects. The sheriff said they are still working to determine which of the two suspects fired the shots, or if they took turns.
Wright said the suspects, who don't live in the area near where the shootings took place, deliberately went to the field to shoot people. He said the rifle used in the shooting was stolen during a burglary.
Deputies said an investigation into the theft of several guns on June 29 from a home on Bethesda Road in Spartanburg led to the identification and arrest of Holder. He was arrested on July 3 and charged with grand larceny and malicious injury to property and has remained in jail since then.
As deputies investigated the shootings, they later arrested Schomer on Thursday and charged him with three counts of attempted murder and possession of a weapon during a violent crime.
Deputies said Holder has been uncooperative during the investigations while Schomer has been cooperative and has given a statement implicating both himself and Holder in the shootings.
Investigators said they have found five of the 11 guns stolen from Bethesda Road, including the rifle used in the shootings.
Following the press conference, deputies walked the suspects out in front of photographers. Holder told photographers he was innocent and they have nothing on him, while Schomer said he was sorry when asked if he felt bad a 19-year-old girl was shot.
Both Holder and Schomer were charged with three counts of attempted murder and one count of possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime. Both have been denied bond by a magistrate judge.
Copyright 2012 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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