Crime & Courts

Man in custody after stabbing at SC church

Staff Reports

Billy Lewis
Billy Lewis Provided photo via Sumter County Sheriff’s Office

A man is in custody after a stabbing Sunday morning at a Wedgefield church.

Billy Lewis, 65, of Byron Lane, Wedgefield, is charged with attempted murder in connection with the incident at St. Paul AME Shaw Church, 1495 N. St. Paul Church Road, the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release.

The victim, believed to be a man in his 60s, was airlifted to Palmetto Health Richland, the sheriff’s office said, noting he was stabbed three times in his upper body. His condition was not known, though he was expected to be released as soon as Sunday, the sheriff’s office said.

Witnesses said the suspect was sitting behind the victim during church services about 9:20 a.m. when he suddenly stood and allegedly began stabbing the man in front of him, the sheriff’s office said. A nurse at the service rendered aid until help could arrive.

No motive has been determined, the sheriff’s office said, and the relationship between the men was not clear Sunday afternoon.

Lewis’ bond hearing is set for 2 p.m. Monday at the Sumter-Lee Regional Detention Center.