Reward Offered for Candler County Shooting Suspect - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

01/13/04

Reward Offered for Candler County Shooting Suspect

Bill Mercer's truck. Bill Mercer's truck.

Imagine driving down the road, talking on your cell phone, and somebody takes a shot at you. That's exactly what happened a few weeks ago to one Candler County man outside Metter. It's scary, especially when you don't know if you were the intended target or just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Living all his life in Candler County, Bill Mercer thought he knew Highway 121 like the back of his hand. That changed November 23 just a few miles out of town as he drove home.

"I was traveling here probably 55 or 60 miles an hour and all of a sudden it sounded like the truck just blew up in the cab," he told us.

The driver behind him had peppered his tailgate and shattered his rear window with buckshot. Two pellets went in and out of his right hand and destroyed his phone.

We've all heard the warning about the dangers of talking on a cell phone while driving. But the phone and Bill's hand probably saved his life.

He drove to a nearby house where someone carried him to the hospital. He hasn't fully recovered. One pellet went into the back of his neck and remains lodged behind his jaw.

Bill hopes someone saw something. He's offering a $2,500 reward for information that leads to an arrest and conviction. But for now, since the suspect is still out there, he takes different roads home all the time.

"Even now, I have problems with it, people following that you don't know," he told us. "They're innocent but you don't know."

He says he'd hate to know someone else got hurt, or worse, and he hadn't lifted a finger.

If you have information, you're asked to call the Candler County Sheriff's Office at 912.685.2568 or the GBI in Statesboro at 912.871.1121.

Bill says whether the shooting was personal or random, the pellets hurt the same. He just hopes either guilt or greed will bring someone forward who knows about it. At this point, he doesn't care which.

Reported by: Dal Cannady, dcannady@wtoc.com

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