Beaufort News

2 charged with Cordillo Courts shoot-out on Hilton Head

Patrick Mimnaugh
Patrick Mimnaugh

A 24-year-old man found wounded near the scene of a Hilton Head Island shooting last week was arrested Wednesday for instigating the gun battle at Cordillo Courts apartments, according to the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office.

A 22-year-old man also has been charged with firing back at him from an apartment balcony.

Investigators say Joshua Gongora of Hilton Head shot into an apartment from the parking lot at 2:30 a.m. Sept. 13. He has been charged with attempted murder, possession of a firearm during the commission of a violent crime and discharging a firearm into a dwelling.

Gongora did not cooperate when investigators found him at nearby Springwood Villas with a non-life-threatening gunshot wound to the torso, an hour after deputies responded to the report of shots fired at Cordillo Courts. He was treated at Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah and released.

Witnesses have since identified him as the shoot-out's instigator, Sgt. Robin McIntosh said. Gongora is accused of firing at a group gathered on the balcony outside unit D6, the Sheriff's Office said.

A man accused of firing back at Gongora, 22-year-old Patrick James Mimnaugh, turned himself in Monday for possession of a sawed-off rifle, which he allegedly used to shoot Gongora.

It is illegal to alter a weapon. McIntosh said the sawed-off .22 caliber rifle had been modified to "look almost like an AK-47."

Mimnaugh was released from the Beaufort County Detention Center after posting bond; the jail log does not indicate the bond amount.

According to the Sheriff's Office, Mimnaugh and Gongora had a heated phone argument just before the shooting. The men had an ongoing argument for reasons that are unknown, McIntosh said.

After the phone call, Mimnaugh and several others were standing on the balcony of Mimnaugh's apartment when they saw someone dressed in dark clothing approach through the parking lot, pull out a gun and begin firing at the balcony. Mimnaugh returned fire with the rifle. The man, later identified as Gongora, then fled.

McIntosh said between five and 10 people were at Mimnaugh's apartment, some of whom scattered during the shooting. The people at the apartment were cooperative when deputies interviewed them, she said.

The shooting occurred less than two weeks after 8-year-old Khalil Singleton was fatally shot in crossfire on the island during an unrelated shoot-out.

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