Man Dies After Murder-Suicide Attempt

WINNSBORO – A man who suffered serious self-inflicted injuries in a murder-suicide attempt Sunday died at Palmetto Richland Memorial Hospital Monday afternoon. Fairfield County Coroner Barkley Ramsey said 25-year-old Avery Markey Caldwell was pronounced legally dead at 2:13 p.m. Monday, 24 hours after shooting himself in the head at his home on 688 Old Chester Road.

Caldwell and his girlfriend, 25-year-old Brittany Scott, also of 688 Old Chester Road, were transported together to Palmetto Richland following Sunday’s domestic dispute that turned gruesome and deadly. Scott underwent emergency surgery Sunday to repair a ruptured artery in her arm as a result of the incident. Although her injuries were reported as being non life threatening, Scott remained at Palmetto Richland at press time.

Fairfield County Sheriff’s deputies initially responded to the gunshot call at 716 Old Chester Road Sunday afternoon. There, they were met by the homeowner, a 66-year-old woman who said she had received a knock on her front door just after 2 p.m. When she answered the door, she found her neighbor, Scott, bleeding from wounds to her arms. Scott told her neighbor she had been shot and asked her to call for help. Scott then collapsed on the front porch, where deputies found her semi-conscious and covered with blood.

Chief Deputy Keith Lewis said Monday that Scott had been shot twice, once in each arm. The gunshot to her right arm, Lewis said, struck her on the inside of her right elbow, severing a main artery and causing significant blood loss. The shot to her left arm was through-and-through, Lewis said, causing only minor damage.

Investigators called for an ambulance, then went next door to Scott’s home, seeking a possibly active shooter. After conducting a tactical sweep of 688 Old Chester Road, investigators found Caldwell lying face-up in a pool of blood in a back bedroom. Caldwell held a .38 caliber revolver in his right hand and was suffering from an apparent gunshot wound to the head. Caldwell was still breathing and was transported along with Scott to Palmetto Richland Memorial Hospital.

Lewis said Caldwell actually fired at Scott three times, striking her twice. Scott collapsed on the floor of the home before struggling next door for help. After shooting at Scott, Caldwell went into the bedroom, reloaded the gun and shot himself. Lewis said Scott and Caldwell were boyfriend and girlfriend and had been together three to four years. The shooting stemmed from a domestic dispute after Scott attempted to leave Caldwell. Lewis said the Sheriff’s Office had never been called to the home for any prior disputes, but interviews with witnesses indicate that the couple had recently been having serious problems. The couple had no children, Lewis said, and no one else was in the home at the time of the shooting.