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Prominent US lawyer is shot months after family members killed

Washington – A prominent South Carolina lawyer whose family has deep roots in regional law enforcement has been shot in the head, just months after his son and wife were mysteriously murdered, authorities said.

The lawyer, Alex Murdaugh, was changing a tire on the side of a country road when someone in a truck drove past, then returned and fired at him, his lawyer, Jim Griffin, told The New York Times.

Murdaugh, 53, survived and was airlifted to a hospital, where he was able to describe the attack to his brother, media reports said.

The sheriff’s office in coastal Hampton County confirmed the shooting and said it was investigating.

The attack came three months after Murdaugh returned home one day to find his wife, Maggie, and son Paul, a 22-year-old college student, shot to death in their estate in the village of Islandton, in the state’s southwest.

No arrests have been made in that June 7 case, and prosecutors said recently that they still have no suspects.

But the Murdaugh family’s long history in law enforcement has drawn intense attention and fuelled speculation in the months since the shootings.

Alex Murdaugh’s father, grandfather and great-grandfather all served as top regional prosecutors.

One line of speculation surrounding the double murder related to the fact that Paul Murdaugh, at the time of his death, was awaiting trial on charges stemming from a boat crash that killed a 19-year-old woman.

Reports conflicted as to whether Paul Murdaugh was driving the boat at the time.

Following the roadside attack on Alex Murdaugh, the family issued a statement, the Island Packet newspaper reported.

It read: “The Murdaugh family has suffered through more than any one family can ever imagine. We expect Alex to recover and ask for your privacy while he recovers.”

The shooting has added to the family’s deep sense of shock, lawyer Griffin said.

“It makes us all wonder what the hell’s going on,” he told the Times. — AFP

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