North Augusta shootings prove unrelated

Two shootings late Thursday in North Augusta that were originally considered related were separate incidents, authorities said.

Around 11:30 p.m., 38-year-old Joel McRae Jr., shot off two rounds on Siskin Circle, Lt. Tim Thornton said. A group of juveniles told North Augusta Public Safety officers that McRae had pointed the gun at them before shooting into the sky.

Around the same time, an attempted suicide was reported on Bradleyville Road. Police first believed someone had been shot but quickly discovered that the wound was self-inflicted. The man was taken to a hospital, where he was taken off life support Friday afternoon and died, Thornton said.

McRae was charged with pointing and presenting a firearm and discharging a firearm and is being held in the Aiken County Jail. He was also jailed in 2009 after being charged with speeding and driving without a driver’s license, according to jail records.

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