Sheriff investigating 2 Bluffton-area shooting incidents; 1 arrest made

May 23, 2011 

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A Bluffton man accused of firing shots at an 18-year-old man and his mother Friday is charged with attempted murder, and authorities are seeking information about shots fired into another nearby apartment at about the same time, according to the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office.

Oseas Ivan Munoz, 19, was arrested after witnesses identified him as the person who fired at a man and his mother near Bluffton House apartments, the Sheriff's Office said.

In a second incident, a couple reported that a man punched their son in the face, then fired shots into their Simmons Cay apartment as they ran inside.

It is unclear if the incidents are related, but that hasn't been ruled out, according to sheriff's Sgt. Robin McIntosh.

Deputies are still trying to determine the motives for both incidents and identify others involved, she said. No injuries were reported.

Munoz, also charged with possession of a firearm during the commission of a violent crime, was released Sunday from the Beaufort County Detention Center after posting bond, set at $60,000, according to the jail log.

Deputies responded to reports of shots fired at about 9:30 p.m. at Bluffton House at 20 Simmonsville Road.

A 27-year-old woman driving in the parking lot saw men arguing and told deputies the rear window of her vehicle was shattered by gunfire.

A 51-year-old woman and her son told deputies they saw a group of men arguing before one began firing toward the 2000 building. The woman told deputies she believed the shots were directed toward them because of a long-standing dispute between her son and a group of men at the apartments.

She said the men had come to their apartment earlier in the night and tried to goad her son into a fight. She said a man, later identified as Munoz, pulled a handgun and shot at them, according to the news release.

Other witnesses reported seeing the group run into an apartment in the 1000 building. There, deputies found several men, including Munoz.

At about the same time, residents reported shots fired at Simmons Cay Apartments, also on Simmonsville Road.

Deputies met with a couple who said multiple shots had been fired into their apartment by a group of men.

The woman said that before the shots were fired, she got a call from her 18-year-old son, who had gone to Walgreens, according to a Sheriff's Office release.

Fearing something was wrong, she asked her husband -- her son's stepfather -- to meet him outside. The stepfather told deputies he met his stepson in the parking lot, and moments after he arrived, a black car and a white SUV pulled in behind them. A group of men emerged from the vehicles and surrounded them. One punched the 18-year-old in the face, the release said.

After helping his stepson off the ground, the two ran into the apartment. Once inside, they heard footsteps, followed by gunshots. They ran to the nearby relative's home, where they called 911, according to the release. The 18-year-old left before deputies arrived, the release said.

Anyone with information about the incident at Bluffton House should call Investigator Cpl. J. Moran at 843-255-3422; for the Simmons Cay incident, call Investigator Cpl. J. Garcia at 843-255-3412 or the Beaufort County Dispatch Center at 843-524-2777.

-- By staff writer Cassie Foss

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