Cigarette brawl leads to assault, shooting

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Three arrested, two injured in dispute

By Chris Sardelli

 An argument about cigarettes outside a Lancaster apartment complex quickly escalated into a shooting and assault of two people Saturday night, Aug. 3.


After a brief foot chase, authorities arrested Kyndra Dynise Jones, 20, 117 S. Woodlawn Drive, Brandon J'lil Thompson, 21, 4011 Stonesboro Road, Heath Springs, and Ronnel Chelvis Thompson, 21, 1739 Usher Road, according to a Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office press release. All three are charged with aggravated assault and battery. 

Ronnel Thompson was also charged with attempted murder. 

Deputies responded at 6:25 p.m. to Woodcreek Apartments on West Meeting Street after receiving a 911 call about a shooting there. 

At the scene, the deputies found two injured Lancaster men in the parking lot, including a 31-year-old shooting victim and a 36-year-old man who had been severely beaten, the release said. 

Lancaster County Emergency Medical Services arrived and took both men to Springs Memorial Hospital by ambulance. Both victims were later flown to Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte for treatment. On Sunday, both men remained hospitalized, though their conditions are unknown.

Witnesses reported that two men ran from the scene into a nearby wooded area. Patrol deputies from the sheriff’s office, along with assistance from Lancaster Police Department officers, searched the woods and began chasing the two men, who were later identified as Brandon and Ronnel Thompson, the release said. Following a short foot chase, the Thompsons were arrested. 

After an investigation, authorities learned the three people had been arguing with one of the victims about a pack of cigarettes. The three people then repeatedly punched and kicked the victim in the parking lot, the release said. 

That’s when the other victim armed himself with a gun, ran to the aid of the man being assaulted and tried to stop the attack, the release said. 

Investigators say Ronnel Thompson then pulled out a gun, fired several times and shot the victim, the release said. 

All three people then reportedly ran from the scene.

Hours later, Jones turned herself in at the sheriff’s office, the release said. 

The Thompsons, whom Sheriff Barry Faile said are cousins, and Jones remained jailed at the Lancaster County Detention Center on Tuesday, and all three of their bonds were denied. 

Faile was appreciative of the collaboration between city and county officers. 

“Our thoughts are with the victims and we hope they are able to recover. I am extremely pleased with the way our personnel and the city PD personnel were able to come together and handle this case so quickly,” Faile said in the release. 


Contact reporter Chris Sardelli at (803) 416-8416