A South Carolina man is accused of fatally gunning down a pregnant teenager and her unborn child before prompting a manhunt across multiple counties.
Johnnie McKnight, 38, faces charges of murder, attempted murder and possession of a weapon, WTOC-TV reports.
The killings allegedly occurred in rural Estill, South Carolina.
According to the television station, McKnight allegedly drove up to the family home of 16-year-old Alydia Ling, began swearing and then fired multiple gunshots at the house, killing Alydia and her unborn child. He also tried to kill other people in the home, police say.
“He stopped right there in front of my door, on the dirt,” said the mother, Debra Ling. “Next thing we know, we just heard the shooting.”
McKnight’s relationship with Alydia was not immediately clear. Debra Ling said she had seen McKnight before and believed that he was the girl’s friend.
Debra said the 16-year-old was due was on Sept. 21. She was expecting to deliver a baby boy and wanted to name him after her father.
Police arrested McKnight just before 9:30 a.m. Friday after a manhunt that traversed multiple counties. He is being held at the Hampton County Detention Center and is awaiting a bond hearing, the television station reports.
Estill Mayor Corrin Bowers said he was devastated by the tragic incident.
“You get that knot in your throat and your mind just starts thinking of the what if’s and that’s basically the way I felt. I was shocked and just was feeling sympathy for the family, thinking about the family, the community and how this is going to affect us.”
Anyone with information about the killings should call Hampton County Dispatch at 803-943-9261 or the Estill Police Department at 803-625-3699.
[Feature Photo: Estill Police Department]