19-Year-old faces jail after he shot his 17-year-old cousin over a bag of potato chips
A 19-year-old man from South Carolina has been arrested after reportedly shooting his cousin over a bag of potato chips, according to a report from the Colleton County Sheriff's office. A 17-year-old boy had been taken to a Charleston hospital in critical condition back on September 29, and rushed into life-saving surgery following a critical wound inflicted by a hunting rifle.
Before the teenager went into surgery, his 19-year-old cousin Ryan Dean Langdale told authorities that he had sustained the wound after dropping the rifle while cleaning it. But local news outlet the Post And Courier says that law enforcement officers very quickly started to see holes in this particular explanation.
"We knew from the beginning that something wasn’t right," explained Colleton County sheriff Major Jason Chapman, adding that the pathway the bullet had taken through the victim’s chest was "impossible" if the victim had accidentally shot himself. "The more we looked into it, the more it seemed odd."
Then, as the victim came to a week after his life-saving surgery, he shed more light on what really happened that day in Ruffin, a rural area 60 miles west of Charleston, South Carolina. At Trident Medical Center in North Charleston, the victim said that he was intentionally shot by his cousin after a dispute over salt and vinegar flavour potato chips.
According to the victim's account in a sheriff's report, Langdale said to his cousin: "Do not touch my chips, or I’ll shoot you." This was reportedly over a bag of salt and vinegar potato chips belonging to Langdale, but when the victim laid hands on the chips, Langdale reportedly went into a back room, fetched a rifle, and pointed it at his own cousin.
"The next thing he knew," the document explained in further detail, "the rifle went off," adding that Langdale had urged the victim to mislead law enforcement authorities about what really happened. The Colleton County Sheriff's Office found that this made for a much more convincing explanation for the wound than Langdale's earlier account.
Investigators also found out that Langdale had switched the rifle used in the shooting with another rifle to mislead authorities and cover up his involvement, according to their report, adding that detectives found the correct weapon when they searched Langdale's place of residence.
The 19-year-old surrendered on Wednesday morning, and will now face charges of attempted murder, using a firearm in a violent crime and obstruction of justice.
But what is really strange about this bizarre case is the lack of a clear motive on Langdale to open fire on his cousin: Chapman confirmed that salt and vinegar chips are not a rare commodity in Colleton County, and the victim says he never actually ate the chips in question.
The identity of the brand whose chips Langdale decided to open fire on his cousin over has also remained a mystery.