Investigator: road rage murder a first for Beaufort County

Beaufort County Animal Services employee, 21-year-old Rhashard Spikes, was killed in a shooting which stemmed from road rage.

A Beaufort County Animal Services employee was killed from a road rage shooting, according to the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office. Rhashard Spikes, 21, was driving in Hilton Head Island, when someone from another vehicle fired shots into his car. Investigators say road rage is common, but this is the first murder they’ve seen stem from it.

Spikes was hit by a one of two shots fired into his Dodge Dart around 9 p.m. on Tuesday, according to investigators. He was wounded while driving east on Highway 278 from Southwood Park Drive. After being hit, he pulled into a convenient store parking lot and called 911. He was taken to Savannah Memorial, but later died from the wound. There were two other passengers in his vehicle who were uninjured.

On Wednesday, shop owners near the spot where the road rage happened, were shocked to hear the news.

“I haven’t seen any big criminal activity. The only thing we see is accidents,” says shoe repairman Carlos Ahumada.

“I will be scared, yeah, because obviously we have places here where kids are around sometime. Right next door is the Batter Box where kids normally come to practice, and that will be something that I will be aware of, and obviously for ourselves, too,” he says.

The road rage started when Spikes was driving toward the Southwood Park Drive stop sign. He told investigators another vehicle turned in, and nearly hit him head-on. He then shouted toward that vehicle. He turned onto Highway 278, and noticed the same vehicle following them, pulling up beside them and shooting.

The Sheriff’s Office has no description of a suspect or suspects, but is looking for a small model silver vehicle with dark tinted windows.

“We do get reports of road rage,” Captain Bob Bromage says, “but very seldom is a firearm involved. People fly off the handle all the time on the Hilton Head, Beaufort County roads, but it rarely if ever leads to something like this.”

The Beaufort County Animal Shelter was closed on Wednesday, to mourn the loss of Spikes. Director Tallulah Trice wrote in a statement:

“Rhashard Spikes was a wonderful employee and friend, who understood the meaning of the word ‘team.’  He made many contributions to the community as an animal care technician.  His excellent work ethic and love for animals will always be remembered by his colleagues, whom are devastated by his death. We will miss him greatly and always remember his contagious smile and exuberance for life.  The circumstances surrounding Rhashard’s senseless murder are being investigated by the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office.”

Investigators want anyone with information to call Investigator LaVan at (843)255-3313 or Crimestoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC.

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