HAMPTON COUNTY, S.C. — Newly released 911 audio recordings are providing a better picture of what exactly happened on the day embattled attorney Alex Murdaugh claimed he was shot along a South Carolina road.
The audio files, released by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) on Friday, include the calls from Murdaugh himself and witnesses who stopped to help him on Old Salkehatchie Highway outside of Varnville on Sept. 4.
SLED would later file charges against the 53-year-old attorney, claiming he conspired with the shooter to commit suicide "for the explicit purpose of allowing a beneficiary to collect life insurance" in the amount of $10 million that would have gone to his 25-year-old son.
The new audio shows that at least one caller seemed puzzled by the situation as she approached the scene. The caller described a man, later identified as Murdaugh, covered in blood.
"He looks fine but it looks like a set-up so we didn't stop," she said.
The operator is then heard working with them to figure out exactly where along Old Salkehatchie Highway they were. A man on the call also describes a black SUV with its trunk open at the location.
The next audio file provided is that of Murdaugh and what he then claimed led to his shooting.
He first describes, generally, where he is - near a church with a red roof on Salkehatchie Road on the Salkehatchie Road - not yet mentioning that he was allegedly shot.
However, after roughly establishing the location, he elaborates.
"I got a flat tire and I stopped and somebody stopped to help me and, when I turned my back, they tried to shoot me," he said.
The operator asks him to clarify whether he had been shot, to which he confirms he was.
"Yes, but, I mean, I'm OK," he said.
However, Murdaugh is unable to tell the operator exactly where he was shot - somewhere on his head. He said he couldn't drive and added that he was "bleeding a lot."
At this point, Murdaugh said someone had stopped for him and was attempting to help. The operator asks his name and continues to clarify the narrative Murdaugh is providing as she mobilizes deputies.
However, Murdaugh is asking that they hurry.
"I'm bleeding pretty bad," he said.
When asked to describe his shooter, Murdaugh pauses briefly before describing him as a "white fella" who was "a fair amount younger" than him with "really, really short hair."
He asks again if an ambulance is on the way to which the operator insists it is. However, Murdaugh can be heard asking one of the bystanders to drive him to an area hospital.
A third recording then apparently picks up where the original call from Murdaugh had dropped off.
"This young lady is carrying me to the hospital," he told the operator.
Murdaugh eventually says that they have seen the ambulance and are pulling over on Walterboro Highway.
"They're here, they're here," Murdaugh said as they approached. He then tells the operator that he will be hanging up and the recording ends seconds later.
Lawyers representing Murdaugh, Dick Harpootlian, and Jim Griffin, would later release a statement about the incident and the attempted suicide, blaming drug addiction for his actions.
The attorneys claim the person who allegedly shot Murdaugh, 61-year-old Curtis Edward Smith of Colleton County, was one of many who had taken advantage of his addiction to opioids.
Murdaugh was later arrested on charges of fraud, conspiracy to commit insurance fraud, and filing a false police report. He was given a $20,000 personal recognizance bond and later entered treatment at a drug rehabilitation facility in Orlando, Florida.
Murdaugh, however, would soon be arrested again - this time in relation to a settlement between himself and the family of his former housekeeper, Gloria Ann Satterfield. In that case, he's accused of using a special bank account to convert the settlement money for his own use.
Murdaugh has since been denied bond and remains in Alvin S. Glen Detention Center in Richland County.