Fort Mill Times

Court hearing held for suspsct accused of shooting Fort Mill police officer

Judge Dan Malphrus found there was probable cause to proceed with nine charges, including five drug charges and an assault and battery with intent to kill charge, filed for the shooting of Fort Mill Police Officer William Reap, who was working on a York County drug task force when he was shot last month.

Authorities still need ballistics evidence to determine whether another officer shot while serving a search warrant in Rock Hill that day was struck by suspect Tymon Wells or another officer's return fire.

Judge Dan Malphrus found there was not probable cause to proceed with an assault and battery with intent to kill charge and associated weapons charge against Wells, 31, in the shooting of a Rock Hill Police officer, Trista Baird.

Baird, who was outside the Arlington Avenue house Feb. 3 trying to get to the back of the house while drug unit agents went inside to search, was struck in the wrist with a bullet fired inside the residence.

Malphrus did find probable cause for the other nine charges, including five drug charges and an assault and battery with intent to kill charge filed for the shooting of Fort Mill Police Officer William Reap, who was working on the drug task force when he was shot.

Police are waiting on the State Law Enforcement Division to complete the ballistics investigation before determining how Baird was shot.

Witness statements read by York County Sheriff's Office Lt. Tim Hager in Tuesday's preliminary hearing in York County General Sessions court at the Moss Justice Center provide details into the night of the shooting.

Wells said in his statements to police that he only shot once - a warning shot - and gave up after he realized police officers, not intruders, were in his room.

"He said he said fired a warning shot into the ground out of fear because he saw weapons were raised near his girlfriend," Hager read from the police interview with Wells.

Officer Reap returned fire, shooting five times, Hager said, reading from police documents. Wells was struck in each leg.

Wells' attorney, Deputy Public Defender B.J. Barrowclough, said he hasn't seen any evidence that shows it was Wells' gun that fired the shot that injured Baird.

Assistant 16th Circuit Solicitor Mindy Hervey argued in the hearing that Wells was responsible for the injury to Baird whether or not he actually shot her because his actions resulted in the return fire.

Hervey said after Tuesday's hearing that the solicitor's office is waiting for ballistics test results from SLED before going to the grand jury on the charges related to Baird's shooting.

"We want to have a cohesive presentation and theory on what happened to present to the grand jury," she said.

Agents with the York County Multijurisdictional Drug Unit got a search warrant for 813 Arlington Ave. because they believed Wells was selling crack there. Witnesses said Wells was selling crack and marijuana from that residence the night of the shooting.

Armed with that warrant, officers of the drug unit and Rock Hill Police street crimes division went to Wells' house around 10 p.m. Feb. 3 looking for crack and items a drug dealer would have, Hager said.

Officers knocked twice, heard scuffling in the bedroom and announced they were police with a search warrant before using a battling ram to break down the door.

Drug unit officers went into a bedroom where Wells was sitting at the foot of the bed.

Wells fired first, Hager said. Wells told police he shot out of fear with a weapon he got after a neighbor was robbed. Reap's statement said he was no more than 4 feet away from Wells when he was shot. Then he returned fire.

Two others, Richard Truesdale and Sherisa Davis, were in the bedroom with Wells at the time of the shooting. His girlfriend, Shaquita Robinson, and her children, ages 7 and 9, also were in the house.

After the shooting, officers searched Wells' residence and found 7 grams of crack, 54.3 grams of marijuana, 1.5 grams of cocaine, $669 and digital scales, according to the police report and search warrant.

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