Crime & Public Safety

Suspect's message for Hilton Head stabbing victim: 'Tell him I hope he dies,' police say

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A Georgia man was trying to defend a sales clerk at a Hilton Head Island convenience store when he was stabbed once in the abdomen Friday afternoon, according to a Beaufort County Sheriff's Office report.

The alleged assailant also told deputies he hoped the victim would die.

The stabbing happened just before 1 p.m. inside the Kangaroo Express at 2 Lagoon Road. The suspect, Kenyon Mackeith Sanders, 34, of Estill, stabbed the victim before pedaling away on a bike and was later arrested, the report said.

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As he was being transported to the Beaufort County Detention Center, Sanders told deputies: "If you talk to the victim, tell him that I hope he dies," the report said.

The report also said Sanders told deputies he wished he had hurt the victim's girlfriend, who was with him at the time of the attack.

When deputies arrived, they found the victim hunched over the back bumper of a vehicle in the parking lot. He was holding the left side of his abdomen, the report said. He was transported to Hilton Head Regional Medical Center before being flown to Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah. He was still in the hospital in stable condition Monday.

The clerk told deputies she asked Sanders to leave because he had come into the store after being told not to many times. She said he began swearing at her, the report said.

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The victim's girlfriend, who was in the checkout line with him when he was stabbed, told deputies the clerk had told someone to "get out!" and the suspect started yelling and calling her names, the report said. She told police her boyfriend told the suspect, "You need to back up," and that's when he pulled the knife out and they began fighting.

The victim told deputies Sanders was calling the store clerk a "b----" and that when he tried to defend her, Sanders started a fight before stabbing him with a 5-6 inch Buck knife, the report said.

Sanders was arrested about 3:30 p.m. by deputies after Coastal Security reported seeing him at a restaurant on North Forest Beach Drive in the Coligny area of Hilton Head, the report said. Deputies found the pocket knife allegedly used in the stabbing in Sander's pocket, the report said.

Sanders was arrested and booked into the Beaufort County Detention Center later that afternoon and faces attempted murder, petit larceny, and possession of a weapon during a violent crime charges. He was still in custody as of Monday afternoon.

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