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Deputies names released from Monday night shooting

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By Reece Murphy

Update 3:10 p.m.

The Lancaster County Sheriff's Office has released the names of the deputies involved in the Monday night shooting of Lancaster resident George Randall "Randy" Bowers: Deputy Jeramie MacKinson and Deputy Michael Kimbrell.

The information came in an incident report released by the sheriff's office Wednesday and later confirmed, with first names, by Maj. David Belk.

The incident report confirmed part of an eye-witness account saying Bowers had a shotgun. However, the weapon mentioned in the report was a single-barrel model instead of a double-barrel model.

 The sheriff's office provided no further information.  

 

New details are beginning to emerge about the deadly Monday night shooting of a Lancaster man by sheriff's deputies at a local car wash.

Witnesses say they are still unnerved by how quickly the otherwise calm situation turned deadly.

Chief Deputy Coroner Karla Knight Deese identified the victim as 56-year-old George Randall "Randy" Bowers.

New Look Car Care car wash owner Kevin Montgomery said the events leading up to the shooting began a few minutes after 6:30 p.m. when he received a call from a passerby about a truck stuck in a bay drain. 

Montgomery said he sent an employee to the scene a few minutes before 7 to help pull the truck out of the hole and later advised him to call 911 when the employee said it appeared Bowers was intoxicated.

"About 30 minutes later he called me back and said, 'They shooting', they shooting'. I think they done killed him,'" Montgomery said. "I was like, you can't be serious, man. How did this get from being stuck in a drain to a gunfight?"

Car wash employee Devarius Hughes, known to most as "Pork Chop," said Bowers was calm as they waited on the scene for someone with a larger truck to come pull the truck out of the hole. 

He said Bowers told him he was drunk and that he saw Bowers drinking beer out of a long neck bottle.

He said he had no idea the man he was talking to would soon be dead.

"When the cops got there it was almost like he snapped ... or more like his mind just went to a whole different level," Hughes said.

Hughes said when the deputies arrived, he walked off with one to give him details of the situation. The other deputy walked over to talk to Bowers.

Hughes said he saw Bowers reaching into his truck, his eyes still on the deputies, but figured he was trying to hide something he didn't want the deputies to see.

That's when everything changed.

"There was no arguing, no tussling, no 'Get away from me,' “Hughes said. "When I turned my back to walk up the hill, the next thing I know I heard, 'Put that down, sir. Put that gun down,' then pow, pow, pow, pow. 

"When I heard the gun shots, I just ran."

Hughes said when he finally walked back to the scene, he saw Bowers lying on the ground, the deputies with handguns drawn and what appeared to be a double-barrel shotgun.

As of this morning, law enforcement officials still have not commented on the details of the shooting.

In a press conference Tuesday, Lancaster Sheriff Barry Faile said his office is conducting an internal investigation of the incident, but the main investigation has been turned over the the State Law Enforcement Division [SLED]. The move is standard procedure in cases involving officer-related shootings.

SLED does not comment on ongoing investigations as a matter of policy, a spokeswoman said Tuesday.

Faile said the deputies involved in the shooting were not injured and have been placed on administrative duty.

"But from what I've seen, my officers responded according to our policy," Faile said. "They  did exactly what they were trained to do."

Hughes said he is still stricken by what happened. He said the incident was an eye-opener about how fast life can change based on the decisions a person makes.

He also said he's thankful.

"I have no idea if he was pointing that shotgun at me, or what," Hughes said. "I'm just thankful [to the deputies] and thank God because it could have been me that got shot before the police arrived."