Update: Suspect in custody in connection to structure fire


A suspect is in custody in connection to a fire that happened in Graniteville.

The Aiken County Sheriff's Office says James Earl Sheppard was arrested Saturday afternoon.

Investigators say a woman called police around 5:40 PM to report an armed man inside her home on Connector Road. The woman said the suspect was asking for money and keys to her vehicle.

Sheppard fled the home on foot after the woman fled the home and was able to call the police.

Authorities are not identifying the woman at this time.

When deputies arrived at the home to search they discovered the home was on fire and fire crews were then called to the scene.

The cause of the fire has not yet been determined.

Witnesses identified Sheppard from a description police had put out on him and they were able to arrest him a short distance away on Midland Drive.

Captain Eric Abdullah of the Aiken County Sheriff's office thanks the citizens on Midland Drive for their help in catching Sheppard.

"With the help of citizens on Midland Drive, they did call in a suspicious person describing him as a white male with tattoos about his body, wearing black pants. Without the help of the citizens over in Midland Valley, or on Midland Drive, we would have never probably...with their assistance we were able to find that individual," says Captain Abdullah.

We will have more information as it becomes available.


The Aiken County Fire Department says they are working a structure fire in Graniteville, South Carolina.

Around 6 P.M. on Saturday evening, Connector Road in Graniteville has been blocked off.

A pillar of black smoke could be seen from the road.

We will keep you updated as more information becomes available.

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