Quick-draw competition turns deadly in Spartanburg County, deputies say

James Turner
James Turner(Spartanburg Co. Detention Center)
Published: Sep. 28, 2022 at 2:37 PM EDT
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GREER, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - The Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office is investigating after a quick-draw competition between friends turned deadly.

Deputies were called to render aid to a shooting victim at a home on Red Haven Drive around 9:30 p.m. on Sept. 23.

According to the sheriff’s office, James Turner and Raelan Hamilton, both 21 years old, have been friends since middle school. Both were gun enthusiasts and had done a quick-draw to see who was fastest approximately 14 times on the night of the deadly shooting.

On the 15th time, Turner said he accidentally chambered a round from the clip into his gun “due to muscle memory” and pulled the trigger, according to the sheriff’s office. Hamilton died from a single gunshot wound.

Turner and a family member gave consistent statements about the incident and deputies say physical evidence corroborated their accounts.

The solicitor’s office determined there was probable cause to charge Turner with involuntary manslaughter.

“Since this incident was the second tragic incident last week involving either the improper storage or handling of firearms, this agency would like to remind all of our citizens to exercise the upmost caution when handling any weapon,” a spokesperson for the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office said.