Crime

York County suspect in triple shooting caught in Charlotte after police chase

York County Sheriffs looking for ‘armed and dangerous’ suspect in Rock Hill shootings

The York County Sheriff's Office is seeking help from the public on the whereabouts of 35-year-old Marques Quantez Heath, the suspect in both shootings that locked down Rock Hill schools on Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019.
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The York County Sheriff's Office is seeking help from the public on the whereabouts of 35-year-old Marques Quantez Heath, the suspect in both shootings that locked down Rock Hill schools on Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019.

One woman was killed and two women were wounded in two York County shootings where police believe the same man shot all three victims.

The shootings are connected and were committed by one suspect, said York County Sheriff Kevin Tolson. Tolson identified the suspect as Marques Quantez Heath, 35, of York County.

Heath was caught after a police chase around 3:30 p.m. in Charlotte near the intersection of South Boulevard and Old Pineville Road, Tolson said.

“We believe Mr. Heath is our suspect in both shootings,” Tolson said. “These incidents are related. This was not a random act of violence where random people were targeted.”

Tolson thanked the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department for its assistance in catching Heath.

‘We have a great relationship with CMPD. They are a great agency,” Tolson said.

Sheriff’s officials released a statement Tuesday afternoon saying Heath was wanted for murder and attempted murder.

Heath fled the second shooting scene, said sheriff’s office spokesperson Trent Faris.

The names of the victims have not been released.

In the first shooting on Leach Road around 10:55 a.m., two women were shot. One woman died at the scene. The second was taken to Piedmont Medical Center for treatment for a gunshot wound to the chest, Faris said.

The second shooting happened about 15 minutes later on Farlow Street in York County, off Cherry Road near Rock Hill, Faris said. One woman was shot at that location.

Police believe Heath knew all three victims.

The relationship between Heath and the victims is unclear, police said. The two victims at the Leach road shooting site had some type of relationship with each other, Faris said.

“All the people involved knew each other,” Faris said. “We are investigating what happened and why.”

York County deputies remained on both scenes Tuesday afternoon. Dozens of officers from other agencies were involved, including Rock Hill police, South Carolina Highway Patrol and S.C. Department of Natural Resources agents. Agents from South Carolina’s State Law Enforcement Division also were called to assist in seeking Heath, police said.

“We will investigate, pursue and prosecute individuals like Mr. Heath and protect the public,” Tolson said.

Eight Rock Hill schools were on lockdown for about 30 minutes after the incidents were reported in the morning, officials said. Those lockdowns were lifted, but then three of those eight schools were placed on a second preventative lockdown around 2:45 p.m. because of police activity near the campuses, school officials said. Those schools were Rawlinson Road Middle School, Northwestern High School and the Applied Technology Center.

The Leach Road shooting scene is near those three campuses.

The school lockdowns came after police notified school officials about the incidents. The affected schools in the morning lockdown were Northwestern High, Rawlinson Road Middle, Sullivan Middle, Applied Technology Center, and Rosewood, Richmond Drive, Cherry Park and York Road elementary schools.

School officials released statements on Twitter for both lockdowns that said the Rock Hill Police Department and York County Sheriff’s Office advised the lockdowns as preventative but there is no threat on any campus.

“We are following law enforcement guidance and acting on their advice at this time,” said Rock Hill school district spokesperson Mychal Frost.

A reverse 911 call was sent out within a half mile of both shooting scenes to landline phones, Tolson said.

“We don’t want people to panic but we wanted the public and schools to know that a guy like this was on the loose,” Tolson said.

Heath was free on 16 bonds from three arrests in the past six months, court records show.

Heath is a convicted felon with convictions for drugs and weapons in 2015 for which he was sentenced to four years in prison, and assault from a 2017 conviction, court records show. He is barred by state and federal law from possessing a weapon because of his past convictions.

Heath was released on bond in late September on 14 felony charges after a police chase when more than 800 Fentanyl opioid pills and other drugs including crack cocaine were found, police said. Police also confiscated several guns in the September arrest.

The charges from the Sept. 26 arrest include five felony drug distribution charges, resisting arrest and eight weapons charges. Heath made bond and was released the day after his arrest.

On Jan. 22, Heath was arrested for driving under a suspended license and released on bond.

Three days later, Heath was arrested Jan. 25 for domestic violence and released on $10,000 bond.

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Andrew Dys covers breaking news and public safety for The Herald, where he has been a reporter and columnist since 2000. He has won 51 South Carolina Press Association awards for his coverage of crime, race, justice, and people. He is author of the book “Slice of Dys” and his work is in the U.S. Library of Congress.

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