Former Jasper County sheriff's candidate released from hospital

A former candidate for Jasper County Sheriff injured in a shooting early Friday in Point South was released Wednesday from a Savannah Hospital.

Joel O'Quinn, 45, of Ridgeland, was released Wednesday from Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah, said Michael Notrica, hospital spokesman.

O'Quinn had previously been listed in serious condition after he was injured in an exchange of gunfire at about 1:30 a.m. Friday outside the Country Kitchen. The restaurant sits just off exit 33 of Interstate 95 and was closed at the time of the shooting, according to the owner, who added neither man injured in the shooting is a regular customer.

Also hospitalized in the incident was 49-year-old Rusty Spencer of Jasper County. Information on Spencer's condition was not available Wednesday, but his injuries were not though to be life-threatening, authorities said Saturday.

Though now the owner of Carolina Investigative and Consulting Services, because O'Quinn was once a state wildlife officer, the Jasper County Sheriff's Office forwarded the case to the S.C. Law Enforcement Division.

A spokeswoman for SLED declined to provide details about the incident, including how the shooting unfolded and whether anyone else was involved.

"Since this is an on-going investigation, I am not at liberty to divulge anything now," said Jennifer Timmons, SLED spokeswoman.

Neither man has been charged, according to authorities.

O'Quinn ran for sheriff in 2007 after Sheriff Ben Riley was killed in a car wreck in Bamberg County. He lost in the Democratic primary to current Jasper County Sheriff Gregory Jenkins.