Alex Murdaugh, 53, who discovered the bodies of his wife and son on June 7, stopped along Old Salkehatchie Road near Varnville, S.C., to change a flat tire early Saturday afternoon. According to Murdaugh’s lawyer, a truck drove past Murdaugh before the driver circled back and fired a single shot. The bullet left Murdaugh with “a superficial gunshot wound to the head,” the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division said in a statement, WTOC reported.
Police have not said whether they believe the Saturday shooting has any connection to the June shootings on the family’s property.
Shortly after the shooting this weekend, Murdaugh — who was treated for non-life-threatening injuries and released from a hospital on Monday — also announced that he was resigning as partner at the PMPED law firm following allegations of missing funds.
“The murders of my wife and son have caused an incredibly difficult time in my life,” Murdaugh said in an emailed statement his attorney shared with The Washington Post. “I have made a lot of decisions that I truly regret. I’m resigning from my law firm and entering rehab after a long battle that has been exacerbated [by] these murders.”
Attorney Jim Griffin confirmed to The Post that Murdaugh had been accused of “diverting lawyer fees from the firm.”
“These allegations prompted him to confront a dependency and he voluntarily checked in to an inpatient substance abuse rehab facility after being discharged from the hospital today,” Griffin told The Post late Monday.
The troubles that have hounded the South Carolina family began in February 2019, when Murdaugh’s son, Paul Murdaugh, allegedly crashed a boat into a piling near a bridge, killing a 19-year-old woman when she was thrown overboard in the collision.
When 22-year-old Paul Murdaugh and his 52-year-old mother, Maggie Murdaugh, were shot dead near the dog kennels on their property, questions surrounding the police investigation of the boat wreck resurfaced.
In August, the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office released recordings of police interviews with the five surviving victims of the boat crash to the Post and Courier. Those recordings showed that a witness had identified Paul Murdaugh as the person driving the boat at the time of the crash, but an officer wrote in his report that he wasn’t sure who had been driving. That same officer told a supervisor he suspected someone else had been driving, despite evidence that Murdaugh had been at the helm.
Two months after the collision, a grand jury indicted Paul Murdaugh on three felony charges, including boating under the influence causing death and boating under the influence causing injury. But the case dragged on, and the court had not set a trial date before Paul Murdaugh was killed in June, the Island Packet reported.
As concerns with the case grew following June’s double homicide, a state grand jury was empaneled to investigate whether police made errors in the initial probe into the boat wreck, the Post and Courier reported.
Despite the public scrutiny of the 2019 collision and the killings of Paul and Maggie Murdaugh, police have yet to make any arrests in the June shootings and have not named any suspects.
No suspects have been named in connection to Saturday’s shooting, either.
Questions have swirled about police missteps and whether the Murdaugh family influenced the boat crash investigation. Three generations of the Murdaugh family served as the top prosecutor in Hampton County, near where the accident occurred. Alex Murdaugh worked part-time in the prosecutor’s office in 2019.
Murdaugh also worked at the law firm, named PMPED for its partners’ initials, until resigning and checking in to rehab for the unspecified dependency issue.
“I am immensely sorry to everyone I’ve hurt including my family, friends and colleagues,” Murdaugh said in a statement shared with The Post. “I ask for prayers as I rehabilitate myself and my relationships.”