North Augusta police consider Gaffney link to 2005 shooting

North Augusta authorities said today they looking at the possibility that a series of murders in Gaffney, S.C., might be connected to the 2005 fatal shooting of one man and wounding of two others near a local restaurant.

“We have no evidence to support that theory but we are entertaining the possibility they are connected,” Detective Tim Thornton said.

At about 6 a.m. on Nov. 22, 2005, a gunman tried to carjack Constance Davidson at the Burger King at Exit 5 off Interstate 20. She drove away but he shot at her, wounding her in the back.

As she drove to a gas station for help, the gunman went to the nearby Huddle House parking lot, shooting William L. Powell and the Rev. Earl Carter, who were part of a group of men who met regularly at the restaurant for coffee.

Mr. Powell died, and the Rev. Carter spent weeks in the hospital recovering from his injuries.

An area manhunt expanded into a regional and national one, with agents from the South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division and the FBI joining the search. More than 300 tips came in. Authorities checked out at least 12 suspects - some more than once - but they were all eliminated, police said.

Authorities are considering if that man might be the same one believed to have been on a killing spree, which has occurred in a 10-mile area near Gaffney over six days.

- AP and Augusta Chronicle reports were used in this article.

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