Former Upstate sheriff says he was robbed, shot - FOX Carolina 21

Former Upstate sheriff says he was robbed, shot while unloading groceries

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Police investigate the shooting and armed robbery. (Jan. 26, 2014/FOX Carolina) Police investigate the shooting and armed robbery. (Jan. 26, 2014/FOX Carolina)
Police investigate the shooting and armed robbery. (Jan. 26, 2014/FOX Carolina) Police investigate the shooting and armed robbery. (Jan. 26, 2014/FOX Carolina)

A retired Anderson County Sheriff said he was worried he would die before rescue crews arrived after he was robbed and shot outside his Greenville apartment.

Gene Taylor, who served as Anderson County Sheriff from 1989 until her retired in 2005, said he was carrying bags of groceries after a trip to the supermarket into his apartment at the Preserves at Woods Lake on Glen Forest Drive around 8:30 p.m. Saturday, when a man with a bandana covering his face confronted him and told Taylor if he didn't hand over his money, then he was going to shoot the former sheriff.

Taylor said he offered the suspect his checkbook, but the masked man wanted cash.

"Turns out he didn't take checks," Taylor said with a laugh on Sunday afternoon, hours after the ordeal ended and he had returned home from the hospital.

Taylor said the suspect then shoved the gun toward him, and Taylor said he reacted in a way that he spent decades advising citizens not to.

"I grabbed his gun and tried to disarm him," Taylor said. "But what I didn't know was that he had an accomplice that I didn't see."

Taylor said that the second man, wearing a plastic Halloween mask, hit him over the head while he was struggling with the gunman.

"The blow knocked me to the ground and when I was getting back up, that's when he shot me," Taylor said.

He said he realized these men could end up taking his life if he didn't comply.

"So I handed over what little cash I had and they drove off."

Taylor said he was disoriented and losing a lot of blood.

"Instead of just picking up my phone and calling 9-1-1, I thought I should knock on my neighbors' doors and have someone else call," Taylor said.

He said no one was answering their doors and he fell to the ground and prayed he would survive.

"The blood was pouring out of my leg," Taylor said. "At that point, I didn't know if the bullet had ruptured a major artery or something. I was lying there thinking there was a possibility I could bleed to death before help arrived."

Luckily, help came quickly, and the former sheriff said he was rushed to the hospital where he got some good news.

"The bullet went straight through my thigh without hitting any arteries or the bone," Taylor said. "If it had hit either, the situation would have probably had a much different outcome."

Johnathan Bragg, spokesman for the Greenville Police Department, said officers were searching for two male suspects who confronted the victim outside his apartment

Police are investigating the crimes but no suspects have been identified, Bragg said.

Police ask anyone with information call the Greenville Police Department tip line at 864-271-GCPD or call Crime Stoppers at 23-CRIME.

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