Volunteer Firemen Help Catch Murder Suspects

The men helped officers find the men charged in a man's death.

Ridge Spring, SC (WLTX) - Two volunteer firemen sprang into action when they witnessed an argument turn into a hit and run. Brian Derrick, the fire chief in Ridge Spring, says that kind of violence is unusual for the town.

"We're a fairly quiet community for the most part," Derrick said. 
 
On Monday night, a crowd of people in Ridge Spring got into an argument at a Circle K.
 
"Arguing about something, I don't know what," said Chris Cockrell, chief deputy of the Saluda County Sheriff Department.
 
 Cockrell says the fight turned deadly when a suspect got into the car, drove into a crowd of people, and hit  Schanen Samules, a Ridge Spring resident. Authorities say a second suspect then got into the car, driving over the victim again at the town's only gas station.
 
"It ended up killing him," Cockrell said.
 
Two volunteer firemen from the Ridge Spring Fire Department were at the gas station at the time of the incident and followed the suspects. 
 
"[The suspects] went a little ways up the road and they parked it [and] got out," Cockrell said.
 
The volunteer Ridge Spring Fire department then joined the scene, helping the police and sheriff's department block the area and track the suspects who had taken off into the woods.
 
"It would've been a whole lot harder if it hadn't been for those fire department guys," Cockrell said.
 
31-year-old Lamar Shannon and 35-year-old Gregory Slayton were caught a few hours later.
 
"I'm very proud," Derrick said.
 
The fire chief says he is not surprised of his men's quick actions.
 
"It's in their nature to help people," Derrick said.
 
 Help they gave for free, not leaving until the job was done.
 
"They stayed out until 2:30 in the morning with us the whole time," Cockrell said.
 
"That's what we're there for, to serve the community," Derrick said.
 
Slayton and Shannon were both charged with murder. Investigations in what led to the hit and run are still ongoing.


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