Proudly Serving the Citizens of Beaufort County, South Carolina

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Proudly Serving the Citizens of Beaufort County, South Carolina

For emergencies, call 9-1-1

Man arrested in connection to March 2 shooting in greater Bluffton area

Today, March 9, 2023, Sheriff’s Office investigators arrested 27-year-old John Patrick Shea in connection to the March 2nd shooting on Harrison Island Road in Bluffton that left an area woman in critical condition. John Patrick Shea is charged with two counts of attempted murder, discharging a firearm into an occupied vehicle, and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime.

Case History

Sheriff’s deputies were called to the causeway on Harrison Island Road on March 2, 2023, at approximately 7:45 a.m. after a 24-year-old Bluffton woman was found in her vehicle suffering from a gunshot wound. Evidence at the scene suggested that she was shot as she was driving her vehicle away from her residence. She remains hospitalized in critical condition in a Savannah area hospital.


Investigators learned that the woman left her home to take her child to school when someone shot recklessly into her vehicle multiple times, striking her at least one time. The child, who was in the back seat of the vehicle, was not injured.
Witnesses who were in the area of Harrison Island Road reported seeing a suspicious truck leaving around the same time as the shooting. Vehicle features described by the witnesses were very specific, after-market additions.
Investigators canvassed the homes and businesses in proximity to the Harrison Island Road and Pinckney Colony Road area and were able to locate the suspicious truck on surveillance footage. Images of the vehicle were circulated to sheriff’s deputies and our area law enforcement partners.

During the early morning of March 6, 2023, Sheriff’s deputies Corporal Meehan and Deputy Sheriff Goodsen were patrolling Hilton Head Island when they spotted a vehicle with the same distinguishing characteristics as described by witnesses on the morning of the shooting.

Through investigative efforts, it was determined that the vehicle located by Meehan and Goodsen was in fact the vehicle observed by witnesses and observed on video. The vehicle was impounded and searched for evidence under the authority of a search warrant.

Probable cause for John Patrick Shea’s arrest was developed through interviews of additional witnesses, combined with the forensic examination of evidence collected during the investigation.

Investigators obtained warrants for Shea’s arrest earlier today. He was taken into custody at his home and is incarcerated at the Beaufort County Detention Center where he awaits a bond hearing.

Investigators learned that John Patrick Shea and the victim dated for a short time in 2022.

Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to contact Sergeant A. Paul at 843-255-3317, or if wishing to remain anonymous, Crime Stoppers of the Lowcountry at 843-554-1111.