South Carolina authorities release 911 calls made after Alex Murdaugh shooting

ByRebekah Riess and Dakin Andone, CNN, CNNWire
Sunday, October 24, 2021
SC authorities release 911 calls made after Alex Murdaugh shooting
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State police in South Carolina on Friday released audio recording of the 911 calls made after embattled attorney Alex Murdaugh was shot on a roadway.

COLUMBIA, S.C. -- State police in South Carolina on Friday released audio recording of the 911 calls made after embattled attorney Alex Murdaugh was shot on a roadway September 4 in what authorities allege was a failed insurance fraud scheme.

The recordings released by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) include two calls made by Murdaugh himself and a third made by passersby, who told the 911 dispatcher they did not stop because the scene "looks like a setup."

Murdaugh, whose wife and son were killed in June and who now finds himself facing numerous legal challenges, later told authorities he conspired with a former client to kill him so his surviving son could collect the insurance payout, court documents say. He has been charged with insurance fraud, conspiracy to commit insurance fraud and filing a false police report in connection to the shooting. Murdaugh has not entered a plea.

The first call released Friday begins with Murdaugh telling the Hampton County 911 dispatcher that he's on the Hampton County side of Salkehatchie Road, near a church with a red roof.

"I stopped, I got a flat tire, and I stopped and somebody stopped to help me," Murdaugh says. "And when I turned my back, they tried to shoot me."

Murdaugh quickly tells the operator he's "okay," but confirms he needs medical attention.

"Yes, I can't drive," he says. "I'm having trouble seeing and I'm bleeding a lot."

"What part of your body?" the operator asks.

"I'm not sure," Murdaugh says. "Somewhere on my head."

Murdaugh tells the operator someone has stopped for him, and he's heard talking to someone in the background.

Murdaugh then gives the operator his name. She asks again, "You said you we're driving and you got a flat tire, somebody stopped to help you and shot to you?"

"Well, they pulled over, yes ma'am, like they were going to help me," Murdaugh says.

Asked for a description of the person who shot him, Murdaugh says "it was a white fellow," who was "a fair amount younger than me. Really, really short hair."

In the second recording, Murdaugh is heard telling the operator he needs an ambulance. Then he says he's being taken to the hospital by a passerby until he sees the ambulance. Murdaugh then tells the operator they are pulling over so he could receive medical attention.

The call made by a passerby begins with the caller telling 911, "There is a man on the side of the road with blood all over him, waving his hands," the caller says.

"He's just laying there, waving his hands around?" the dispatcher asks.

The caller responds, "He looks fine but it kind of looks like a setup, so we didn't stop."

The shooting is just one of several personal and legal challenges Murdaugh faces. While his wife and son's murders remain unsolved, Murdaugh's attorneys have admitted that he had an addiction to opioids and the law firm that bears his name sued Murdaugh, accusing him of lying and stealing funds as part of a "systematic scheme."

Murdaugh "has pledged his full cooperation to the firm," his attorney, Jim Griffin, told CNN about two weeks ago.

Murdaugh was in a drug rehab facility in Orlando last week when he was charged with two felony counts of obtaining property by false pretenses for allegedly misappropriating millions of dollars in funds meant for the family of his longtime housekeeper, Gloria Satterfield.

He was denied bond in that case this week and was also ordered to undergo a psychiatric evaluation. Murdaugh has not offered a plea in that case.


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