A judge in Lexington County denied bond Thursday for Kyle Pratt of Batesburg-Leesville, who deputies say shot at cars on Interstate 20 early Wednesday, hitting and wounding one person.
Pratt struck three vehicles containing seven people while shooting with a pistol from the Quattlebaum Road bridge, according to the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department.
The 17-year-old was arrested Wednesday night and charged Thursday with seven counts of attempted murder, three counts of discharging a weapon into a vehicle, possession of a weapon during a violent crime and possession of a stolen pistol.
Of the seven victims, four were female and three male, according to the incident report. One of the females was a child. Six of the victims were white and one was black, according to the report.
One person was hit by a bullet and taken to a local hospital, the sheriff’s department reported earlier.
None of the victims are Midlands residents, according to the incident report. One, who was driving an 18-wheeler at the time of the shooting, is from Georgia.
Capt. Adam Myrick, spokesman for the sheriff’s department, declined to comment on whether the victims were fired on at random. “I’m not going to speculate what the shooter might have seen or might have been targeting or not,” Myrick said.
Deputies found spent shell casings in the roadway, according to the incident report. Myrick declined to say if deputies located the stolen pistol or if investigators had determined where the gun was stolen from.
“That’s a piece of info we need to protect right now as the investigation continues,” Myrick said.
Attorney Ben Stitely, representing Pratt, told Judge Art Myers at the bond hearing that Pratt has finished with school and works full-time for his grandfather. “He’s never been in trouble before,” Stitely said. “This is extremely out of character, as far as the accusations go.”
James Kemfort, a detective with the sheriff’s department, urged the judge to consider how serious the incident was. “The fact that we’re not dealing with a fatality is quite a miracle,” Kemfort said.
No victims were present at the hearing, but Pratt’s family did attend.
The incident happened early Wednesday morning – deputies responded at 2:09 a.m. – and deputies arrested the teen Wednesday night.
“We know members of the community where this happened were uneasy,” Sheriff Jay Koon said. “Making an arrest less than 24 hours after the event and giving them peace of mind was very important to us.”
Koon said an anonymous tip was instrumental in the teen’s arrest.
Pratt is scheduled to appear in court next at 9 a.m. July 21.
Deputies will run extra patrols along I-20 in the southwest part of the county for the remainder of the week.