NORTH AUGUSTA — Law enforcement agencies in South Carolina are checking into whether the three men suspected in an ill-fated robbery attempt of a Aiken County gun shop Thursday were involved in similar crimes elsewhere.
“They are looking into other crimes committed in other jurisdictions,” said Aiken County Sheriff’s Sgt. Jason Feemster.
Feemster said he could not comment on specific crimes or cities.
Arrest warrants have been filed for Eddie Stewart, 30, of Columbia, and Franklin Robinson, 27, of Gadsden, S.C., who remain at Medical College of Georgia Hospital after being shot during the burglary at Guns and Ammo Gunsmith on Edgefield Road in Belvedere shortly before 4 a.m. Thursday.
The store’s owner, Stephen Bayazes, 57, told Aiken County sheriff’s deputies that he and his wife were sleeping in the rear of the store when he woke to find that three men had backed a van through the side of the building and were loading it with guns.
After hearing the burglars threaten to shoot him, Bayazes said, he opened fire with an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle.
Two burglars fled, and Stewart and Robinson were found at a Martintown Road Waffle House, where they stopped to seek help for their gunshot wounds.
A third man, K’Raven Aude Goodwin, 20, of Eastover, S.C., was wounded and left at the gun shop. He was pronounced dead shortly after arriving at Medical College of Georgia Hospital.
Aiken County investigators have obtained warrants for Stewart and Robinson on charges of first-degree burglary, grand larceny and possession of a weapon during the commission of a crime. Feemster said they will be taken into custody after their release from the hospital.
The van used in the crime was discovered to be stolen from New Vision Fellowship International in the first block of East Marian Avenue in North Augusta, Public Safety Lt. Tim Thornton said.
He said North Augusta Public Safety will not be charging the men in the theft because there were no witnesses to that crime.
Thornton said the sheriff’s office can charge the men with receiving stolen property, but Feemster was unsure whether it was pursuing those charges.
Charges will not be filed against the store owner, the sheriff’s office said.