Sheriff: LEC shooter killed Hollingsworth guards for 'thrill' - WFXG FOX 54 - News Now

Sheriff: LEC shooter shot Hollingsworth guards in 'thrill killing'

A 2011 mugshot of Evan Casey Bennett. (Source: Greenville Co. Sheriff's Office) A 2011 mugshot of Evan Casey Bennett. (Source: Greenville Co. Sheriff's Office)
Deputies are patrolling the Hollingsworth plant after two security guards were killed. (Sept. 2, 2014/FOX Carolina) Deputies are patrolling the Hollingsworth plant after two security guards were killed. (Sept. 2, 2014/FOX Carolina)
Sheriff Loftis spoke about the connection between several homicides and a shooting at the LEC. (Sept. 2, 2014/FOX Carolina) Sheriff Loftis spoke about the connection between several homicides and a shooting at the LEC. (Sept. 2, 2014/FOX Carolina)
Deputies and police swarmed the Greenville Co. Law Enforcement Center as shots rang out Monday night. (Sept. 1, 2014/FOX Carolina) Deputies and police swarmed the Greenville Co. Law Enforcement Center as shots rang out Monday night. (Sept. 1, 2014/FOX Carolina)
GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) -

The Greenville County sheriff said the man who shot and killed his stepfather before firing shots at police headquarters and a Greenville officer is believed to be the man who killed two security guards at the Hollingsworth textile plant on Friday.

On Tuesday, Sheriff Steve Loftis said 23-year-old Evan Bennett killed 65-year-old Bobby Wayne Wood and 53-year-old Richard Ellison at the non-operational Laurens Road textile plant on Friday.

Deputies said Ellison and Wood were working security at the plant where they were discovered dead about 3:30 a.m. by a newspaper delivery woman. The coroner said both men were shot in the head with a shotgun.

Loftis called the incident a "senseless thrill killing." He said Bennett had spent ample time on the property and was watching the guards. 

Since then, deputies have released little information about the ongoing double-homicide investigation.

Then on Monday, Greenville police were called to 18 Augusta Ct. where they said they found Gregory Jones, 58, dead from an apparent gunshot wound about 9:30 p.m.

Loftis said Bennett was confronted by family about being involved in the deaths of the two security guards, pushing him over the edge. Police said Bennett shot Jones, his stepfather.

Bennett then said "the war is just beginning" before leaving the home dressed in a black tactical vest, black fingerless gloves and camouflage pants, according to witnesses' statements to deputies.

Less than an hour later, police said Bennett went to the Greenville County Law Enforcement Center on McGee Street in downtown, which is about three miles away and tried to enter the lobby, but the doors were locked because it was after hours. 

Bennett fired a shotgun into the front doors, then ran to the parking lot and took cover behind a Greenville County deputy's car, according to police.

"He stood up from his kneeled position and discharged one shotgun blast towards our officer," Gambrell said.

Police said one officer was hit and fired back one round, missing Bennett. That officer, whose name has not yet been released, was shot three times by Bennett, according to Gambrell. He said as more officers responded, Bennett shot himself with the shotgun and died at the scene.

Loftis said Bobby Wood's sergeant's badge for Hollingsworth property was later located in Bennett's room under his mattress. Bennett also had five SLED certification cards in his wallet that belonged to Wood, according to Loftis.

Gambrell said Bennett was the only suspect in Jones' death, though they cannot confirm the shotgun from Monday was used during Friday's double-homicide.

The officer shot by Bennett underwent one surgery for his shotgun wounds and remains in the hospital. As of Wednesday morning, police said he was considered to be in serious but stable condition and will likely need more surgeries.

Police said he is a five-year veteran of the department.

Loftis said the Hollingsworth case is still an active investigation to confirm no one else was involved. 

On Wednesday, deputies released a photo of Bennett from his Aug. 26, 2011 arrest. That case was later dismissed. They said the photo does not accurately represent Bennett during Friday and Monday's crimes as he had a close-cut, military-style haircut. 

Services for Ellison and Wood are set for Wednesday. Wood's funeral will be held at 10:30 a.m. at Thomas McAfee's downtown chapel at 639 North Main St. with burial after at MJ Dolly Cooper Veteran Cemetery. Ellison's funeral is at 2 p.m. at the Johnson's Funeral Home chapel at 113 N Poinsett Hwy. in Travelers Rest with burial following at Woodlawn Memorial Garden.

Copyright 2014 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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