LEXINGTON COUNTY — Deputies are looking for any information about the deadly shooting of a 31-year-old Columbia man who tried to break up a fight at a St. Andrews bar on Sunday.
Brandon E. Ratliff, of Brook Pines Drive, was shot once in the chest as Lexington County Sheriff’s deputies say he was trying to mediate a dispute between others outside the Cockpit Bar & Grill on Berryhill Road.
Sheriff James R. Metts said a number of people who may have critical information left the business for safety concerns. He is asking anyone with information to contact the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department at (803) 785-8230 or CrimeStoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC. Citizens also can provide information anonymously by accessing the Crime Tip link on the Sheriff’s Department web site (www.lexingtonsheriff.com).
Deputies continue to investigate the shooting, including the nature of the dispute and who is responsible for shooting Ratliff. After he was fatally shot, Ratliff was transported in a privately owned motor vehicle to Lexington Medical Center, where Ratliff was pronounced dead,.
Lexington County Coroner Harry O. Harman said preliminary results of an autopsy show that Ratliff died within minutes as a result of exsanguination that occurred when one bullet that was fired from a firearm penetrated Ratliff’s upper torso and lacerated Ratliff’s heart. Harman ruled that Ratliff’s death was a homicide.