Armed robbery victim shoots 1 of 2 attackers; two suspects arrested

achristnovich@beaufortgazette.comOctober 30, 2012 

A St. Helena Island woman who shot one of two men who tried to rob her outside her home last week has not been charged; the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office says her attackers are in custody.

Eric Leonard Riley, 30, and Ahkeem Sweet, 21, both from Georgia, were arrested Monday and Tuesday, respectively. Both face charges of attempted murder, armed robbery and possession of weapons during a violent crime, according to Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Sgt. Robin McIntosh.

Sheriff's Office deputies were called to the woman's mobile home on Hagood Lane at about 2 p.m. Oct. 22 after reports of gunfire. They found only a small amount of blood, a woman's belongings and a mobile home riddled with bullet holes, according to a Sheriff's Office report. Witnesses said they saw two men running from the area moments after the shots rang out, McIntosh said.

The items belonged to the 31-year-old resident of the mobile home, the Sheriff's Office learned that day. She told authorities she fired several shots at two men who tried to rob her, McIntosh said.

The woman said Sweet returned fire but only hit the mobile home, McIntosh added.

Later that night, Riley went to Savannah's Memorial University Medical Center with multiple gunshot wounds and, although he said he was shot in Savannah, "investigators were able to quickly link him to the Hagood Lane shooting incident," McIntosh said.

McIntosh did not provide further detail on how investigators identified Riley as a suspect.

Riley was arrested Monday by Sheriff's Office deputies and remained in the Beaufort County Detention Center late Tuesday night with bail set at $55,000, according to the jail log.

Sweet was arrested by authorities in Claxton, Ga., where he will be held until he is extradited to Beaufort County, McIntosh said.

Additional arrests or charges may be made as the investigation continues, McIntosh said, but it isn't clear whether charges against the Hagood Lane resident will be brought.

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