Shots fired, bat used in Maryville

  • Wednesday, August 27, 2014

A.M. Sheehan/South Strand News Georgetown County deputies and Georgetown police responded to Anglers at South Fraser and South Island Road in Maryville Aug. 24, for a report of shots fired. Occupants of the vehicle, above, told police of a harrowing incident at South Island Park involving a baseball bat and a gun.

Two men have been charged with attempted murder after an incident involving a gun and baseball bat that took place the evening of Aug. 23.

Georgetown Police were dispatched to the Kangaroo Express in Maryville at approximately 8:40 p.m.

Sunday after receiving a report there may have been a shooting victim at that location.

The Georgetown County Sheriff’s deputies also responded as did Georgetown Fire Department and county EMS.

Officers met with four people who said they had been fishing in the Lamberttown community and one of them – a 26-year-old woman – received a call from a friend who wanted a ride to meet his girlfriend.

That woman and her three friends, who had been fishing, went to pick up the man.

Once they had the man, they drove to South Island Park where they waited for the man’s girlfriend to arrive. After about 10 minutes, a white car – possibly a Chevrolet Impala or Malibu – pulled up in front of them, the police report states.

The woman who received the call could see that an acquaintance she knows was driving the vehicle and that her mother’s boyfriend was exiting the vehicle from the passenger’s seat, according to police.

One of the men – identified by police as Juan Jose Cruz, 31 – walked up to the car and used a baseball bat to shatter the window next to where the woman was seated.

He then walked around the car and fired a single gunshot through the open passenger side window.

The shot was fired at a man in the car but he was not hit. The victim then tried to get the gun away from Cruz. The gun fell out of Cruz’s hand but he was able to quickly pick it back up.

Another man unsuccessfully tried to get the gun but he was able to get the bat from the suspect.

During the struggle, the gun fired a second time and the bullet hit the back of the car. After he lost the bat, Cruz allegedly fired a third shot that went through the quarter panel of glass on the right rear passenger window.

No one was hit by the bullets.

While Cruz was fighting to keep the gun and bat, another suspect – 22-year-old Eliel Manzo – reached in the car and struck the 26-year-old woman on the face with a closed fist.

He reached in and grabbed the keys out of the ignition but the car did not turn off.

The woman who was driving the car the victims were in rammed the suspect’s vehicle and then quickly backed away from the scene.

She drove to the Kangaroo gas station and called police.

One of the male victims suffered a laceration to the right side of his temple. EMS was called to the scene, but all victims refused to be transported.

The bat was collected for evidence.

Cruz and Manzo were later found at a home in the 3500 block of South Fraser Street and were arrested.

The 26-year-old woman – who escaped with minor injuries – said she believes that the incident occurred because Cruz wants to have an intimate relationship with her and is mad that she is dating another man.

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