SPARTANBURG — Two men have been charged in a plot to randomly shoot at people similar to the Washington, D.C., sniper shootings, Sheriff Chuck Wright said at a news conference on Thursday.
Bryan Marion Holder, 20, 925 Wesley Court, Apt. 29, Boiling Springs, and Mattison Tyler Schomer, 17, 124 West Drive, Spartanburg, have been charged by the Spartanburg County Sheriff's Office with possession of a weapon during a violent crime and three counts of attempted murder, according to arrest warrants.
“Bryan Marion Holder and Mattison Tyler Schomer were randomly shooting people for the sheer pleasure of shooting at people,” Wright said. “They decided it would be fun to shoot and kill people.”
The first incident happened on July 2 at the Raceway gas station located at 8671 Asheville Highway in the Springfield community. A male driver and a female passenger were sitting in a Mazda Miata at the gas station when two shots from a high-powered rifle with a scope were fired at their car, an incident report states.
One of the bullets went through the passenger side of the car, hit the 19-year-old woman in the back and lodged in the console of the car, according to the report.
“This 19-year-old was shot with a 30.06 rifle, and by the grace of God she will recover,” Wright said. “You've got a girl doing nothing wrong that got shot. They (the two men) laid in the grass across the field at the Winn-Dixie.”
Wright said the bullet was just inches away from making the woman a paraplegic.
A third victim became a target at the Ingles Gas Mart on Asheville Highway, according to the report. The man was washing the gas pumps across from the Raceway when he was shot at twice, the report states. Although the man wasn't hit, the rounds hit a building beside Ingles, breaking some glass.
Wright said a break in the case came during an investigation into a burglary at a home on Bethesda Road on June 29, during which numerous guns were stolen. Five of the 11 guns stolen from Bethesda Road have been recovered, including the rifle used in the shooting incident.
Investigators identified Holder as a suspect in the case and he was arrested July 3 and charged with grand larceny and malicious injury to property. He has remained in jail since then.
Wright said subsequent investigation of the shooting incidents led to the identification and arrest of Schomer.
“An investigator not assigned to the case was listening to what was going on,” Wright. “It was very good police work that led to their arrests.”
Holder has been uncooperative with investigators, but Schomer gave a statement implicating himself and Holder in the shootings, Wright said. Holder and Schomer have been denied bond on the shooting charges.