Police: Lancaster gunman who shot two women 'took his own life'

jmcfadden@heraldonline.comMay 3, 2014 

Sammy Lee Baskins, Jr.

— A man accused of shooting two women in Lancaster on Saturday afternoon killed himself as police attempted to arrest him, authorities said.

After police received a tip about where they might find Sammy Lee Baskins, Jr., the shooting suspect accused of sending two women to a Charlotte hospital in serious condition apparently took his own life, Lancaster Police Capt. Scott Grant said.

Police said Baskins was 48.

Earlier on Saturday, authorities responded to shootings on two different streets, but involving the same suspect. First, at 12:28 p.m., police were sent to a Penny Street home, off West Meeting Street, where a woman in her 50s had been shot. Then, they were dispatched to a unit in the 2600 block of Pardue Street, at Palmetto Place apartments, where a woman in her late 20s had also been shot.

The second victim, Grant said, was holding a small child in her arms when she was shot. The child was not injured. Both shooting victims are related, he said.

Witnesses to both incidents identified Baskins as the suspect. Because they could not find him, police ordered nearby Springs Memorial Hospital to go on a temporary lockdown. Both victims had also been taken to Springs Memorial before they were airlifted to Carolinas Medical Center.

They are in serious condition, Grant said. Their names were not released.

The hospital lockdown was ordered at 12:55 p.m. and lifted at 3:55 p.m., a hospital administrator told The Herald.

Authorities mounted a search for Baskins until they received information about where he was hiding. They found him at an East Dunlap home, less then a mile away from where he is accused of shooting the second victim. As police tried making contact with Baskins, he apparently killed himself. More details about Baskins' alleged suicide were not available.

Baskins knew both women he shot, Grant said. He would not elaborate on how they knew each other, but he stressed that the shooting is not "random." Baskins' family members declined to comment when reached Saturday night.

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