Beaufort Co. Sheriff’s Office releases new information on St. Helena Island shooting that left 3 dead

(Cropped Photo: Tony Webster / CC BY-SA 2.0)
(Cropped Photo: Tony Webster / CC BY-SA 2.0)(WDBJ)
Published: Jan. 26, 2022 at 4:14 PM EST|Updated: Feb. 4, 2022 at 6:48 PM EST
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ST. HELENA, S.C. (WTOC) - UPDATE: On Friday, Feb. 4, the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office gave new information pertaining to the shooting death of three people.

BCSO says they were contacted around 11:30 a.m. in Jan. 26 by a female who said a male subject was breaking into her Eddings Point Rd., St. Helena Island home. The caller advised Sheriff’s Office dispatchers that a person she knew, Jaquan Sanders, was breaking into her home.

The first deputy to arrive on scene noted the door had been damaged, which was consistent with the female caller’s report that her home was broken into. Upon entering the home, the deputy found Jaquan Sanders lying unresponsive on the floor of the upstairs hallway with a pistol in his hand.

While still upstairs, the deputy proceeded to a bedroom, where he located Kalila Saunders and Robin Saunders wounded on the floor; a pistol was found on the bed nearby.

The deputy reportedly rendered aid to the wounded people and secured the scene for Beaufort County Emergency Medical Services to respond.

Kalila Saunders and Jaquan Sanders were pronounced dead at the scene by EMS. Robin Saunders was transported to the hospital and died a short time later.

From their preliminary investigation, BCSO has released the following information:

  • The initial call from the Eddings Point Rd. home to dispatch was made by Robin Saunders
  • Robin resided at the Eddings Point Rd. residence with her daughter, Kalila Saunders
  • Jaquan Sanders was Kalila’s estranged boyfriend
  • Jaquan resided in Shell Point
  • Jaquan did not have legal access nor was he reportedly welcome to be at the Saunders’ Eddings Point Road residence
  • The damage to the door leading into the Eddings Point Rd. home was fresh and consistent with the door being forced open
  • Jaquan was in possession of a pistol when he was found lying unresponsive
  • The pistol found on the bed belonged to Kalila; a lawful resident of the Eddings Point Rd. home
  • The pistol found in Jaquan’s possession and the one found on the bed were different calibers
  • There were two calibers of cartridge casings and projectiles found at the scene and recovered at the autopsies
  • The two calibers of casings and projectiles were consistent with the calibers of the two pistols recovered from the residence
  • There were no indications that anyone was involved in incident other than the three deceased

BCSO says information obtained thus far strongly indicates that on Jan. 26, 2022, Jaquan Sanders unlawfully and forcibly entered the Saunders’ Eddings Point Rd. residence armed with a pistol, which precipitated one of the lawful residents, Kalila or Robin Saunders, to exchange gunfire with Jaquan in defense of themselves and their home.

They say forensic analyses may assist in determining additional details of the shooting. This case remains under investigation.

The Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a shooting that killed three people on St. Helena Island on Wednesday morning.

Deputies were called to a report of three adults wounded by gunfire at a residence on Eddings Point Road around 11:30 a.m.

Beaufort County Emergency Services pronounced two dead people at the scene and one was taken to the hospital where they later died.

The three people have been identified as 55-year-old Robin Saunders of St. Helena, 22-year-old Kalila Saunders of St. Helena and 24-year-old Jaquan Sanders of Seabrook.

Forensic autopsies are scheduled to be conducted at the Medical University of South Carolina on Wednesday, Feb. 2.

Investigators continue to investigate. BCSO believes all parties involved in the shooting have been identified and located. They say there is no threat to the public.

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