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North Augusta gun shop owner kills suspected burglar, injures two others

Thursday, Aug 9, 2012 8:18 AM
Last updated Friday, Aug 10, 2012 10:47 PM
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NORTH AUGUSTA — One man is dead and two are recovering after being shot by a gun store owner during a burglary of his business Thursday morning.

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Aiken County sheriff's Sgt. Jason Feemster said three men drove into the side of the building shortly before 4 a.m. Thursday. The owner shot the three men, killing one.  ZACH BOYDEN-HOLMES/STAFF
Aiken County sheriff's Sgt. Jason Feemster said three men drove into the side of the building shortly before 4 a.m. Thursday. The owner shot the three men, killing one.

Stephen Bayazes Jr., 57, told officers that he and his wife were asleep in an apartment at the back of the business, Guns & Ammo Gunsmith, 522 Edgefield Road, shortly before 4 a.m. when he awoke after hearing a loud crash and the activation of a silent alarm.

Bayazes grabbed an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle and found three men loading guns into a van that had crashed through the side wall of the store.

After hearing the men yell to kill him, Bayazes shot one 30-round magazine of .223-caliber bullets before retreating to his bedroom to reload, he later told officers.

As he left the room, Bayazes saw two men drive away in the van.

K’Raven Aude Goodwin, 20, of Eastover, S.C., was wounded and left behind at the gun

Aiken County Coroner Tim Carlton said Goodwin died of gunshot wounds shortly after arriving at Medical College of Georgia Hospital.

The two other suspects were found at Waffle House on Martintown Road, about three miles away. Investigators said the men, who had both been shot, stopped at the restaurant to seek help.

Eddie Stewart, 30, of Columbia, and Franklin Robinson, 27, of Gadsden, S.C., were taken to a hospital. Details on their injuries have not been released.

Aiken County sheriff’s Sgt. Jason Feemster said it appeared that all of the stolen merchandise was in the van.

Hours after the incident, a construction crew worked to repair the damaged wall. Parts of the ceiling and glass from display cases still littered the floor.

The store owner said it was not the first time the store has been a target.

In 2009, the store was burglarized.

Shortly afterward, Bayazes and his wife moved into an apartment in the back.

Bayazes was not injured.

Feemster said Bayazes was within his rights to use lethal force.

“If someone is breaking in your home or business, you have the right to defend yourself and not retreat,” the sergeant said.

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itsanotherday1 08/10/12 - 06:07 pm
No excuse for his behavior,

No excuse for his behavior, he should be prosecuted as appropriate for his crime; but isn't it a bit of a stretch to compare the incidents?
1. Man stealing pinestraw.
2. Three men crashing into a gun store, loading up weapons and ammo. You have to assume they are armed, and you expect one guy to hold them til the cops come?

Come on now.....

BHirsh 08/10/12 - 06:53 pm
As we all know, because Carolyn McCarthy told us...

..."assault weapons" are not used for self-defense, they are only used by armies to kill masses of people, and have no place in civilian hands.

Or something. I think. Yeah. That's it....

nnaugusta 08/10/12 - 10:50 pm
Guess you both stopped a

Guess you both stopped a crime. You stopped some pinestraw going into a flower bed, he stopped 20 or so guns from getting into the hands of criminals. Cudos to both of you!

fsilber 08/11/12 - 11:01 pm
Those guns _do_ have a purpose on our streets!

Good thing he had a fast-firing high-capacity rifle on hand. Even though society one way or another will have to cover the hospital bill for the two survivors, we will more than make it up by not having to imprison the one who died.

But what can we learn from his tactics, that two of them were temporarily able to get away -- so someone in the owner's position can do better next time?

fsilber 08/11/12 - 11:12 pm
comment by xtremeoutdoorsmen

xtremeoutdoorsmen posted a link to a story indicating that the store owner was a thief himself. That's a real twist. If he's still doing that kind of stuff, let's hope his turn will come.

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