Originally created 05/06/04

Man sought in co-worker's shooting



TRENTON, S.C. - Edgefield County sheriff's deputies were still looking Wednesday evening for a Carlisle Tire and Wheel Co. employee suspected of shooting a co-worker in the foot Tuesday.

The Edgefield County Sheriff's Office received a call at about 9:30 p.m. Tuesday reporting that an argument between two employees resulted in one employee firing on another.

Sheriff Adell Dobey said authorities suspect employee Pilar Ruiz fired a small handgun at Tea Dulfo Gonzalez. Mr. Gonzalez, of the 100 block of Breezy Way, Graniteville, was taken to Medical College of Georgia Hospital with a foot wound. He was released Wednesday afternoon, a hospital spokeswoman said.

Mr. Ruiz might have fled to the woods near the Wise Street plant, which makes plastic parts for lawn mowers and other machinery.

The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division brought in a team of bloodhounds and a helicopter to help the search.

"We are considering (Mr. Ruiz) to be armed and dangerous because he still may have a handgun," Sheriff Dobey said. "We haven't found the weapon that was used."

Mr. Ruiz, 22, is described as 5 feet 6 inches tall and weighing 150 pounds. He is balding, has brown eyes, and was last seen wearing a yellow shirt, blue jean shorts, tennis shoes and a black cap.

Anyone with information about Mr. Ruiz is asked to contact the Edgefield County Sheriff's Office at (803) 637-5337.

Sheriff Dobey said the search was called off Wednesday morning but patrols by law enforcement officers in Edgefield County and surrounding counties have been increased. Investigators talked to friends of Mr. Ruiz and checked two North Augusta addresses for him, but were unable to find any clues to where he was.

"This is the first case we've had like this," Sheriff Dobey said.

Reach Karen Ethridge at (803) 648-1395.