Cowpens man arrested after eating bath salts - FOX Carolina 21

Cowpens man arrested after eating bath salts

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Patrick Powell, 31 (Spartanburg County Sheriff's Office) Patrick Powell, 31 (Spartanburg County Sheriff's Office)
COWPENS, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Neighbors said loud pops went off loud and quick.

"We thought it was fireworks the first time," Bennie Skates, a neighbor, said.

But then Skates realized those pops he heard were gunshots early Sunday morning.

"He shot across there. He was shooting everywhere," Skates said. "Gunshots in the trailer there, all through the trees."

Skates, who lives on Seagle Road in Cowpens, pointed to several bullet holes in a truck parked in his yard and chipped pieces of brick from his house Monday afternoon.

It took him awhile to figure out where the shots were coming from until Cowpens police got to his house.

"Then he fired off three or four shots in the house and then he knew it was coming from him," Skates said.

Investigators said Patrick Powell, Skates' neighbor, was the triggerman. They said he also shot out the glass to his own side door and shattered two other car windows in his driveway.

"He never would've done that if it hadn't been for something. That stuff made him go off the deep end," Skates said.

In Powell's mug shot, he's dressed in a hospital gown instead of a jailhouse jumpsuit because he went to the hospital when he told investigators he ate bath salts.

Investigators said the bath salts he took aren't like those used for relaxation in a tub.

Deputies said he took the synthetic drug that is sold in smoke shops. It's made of mephedrone and users smoke or snort it to get high. But they also cause paranoia and hallucinations.

For now, bath salts as a front for a legal high are still being sold in head shops.

However, a couple of weeks ago the DEA issued an emergency ban on bath salts.

By the end of September, it will be illegal to buy, sell or possess the synthetic drug, bath salts.

"He also told police he killed somebody inside the house," Skates said.

Neighbors said Powell was hallucinating and detectives never found a body in the house. Deputies said they found that he also took valium and drank alcohol.

"He could've killed somebody, but he's been a great neighbor," Skates said. "I think the people should be charged who sold him that stuff. He shouldn't be charged with attempted murder."

Powell faces several charges including attempted murder. Deputies said he was shooting while his neighbor and officers were outside.

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