UNION — A Union man will remain in jail while awaiting trial for attempted murder in connection with a shooting incident that left the victim lying in the road with multiple gunshot wounds.
On Monday afternoon, Najm Ahmad Thomas, 18, 103 Talley Drive, Union, was served by Union County Sheriff’s deputies with an arrest warrant for attempted murder in the shooting of 19 year old Elizawon Malik Gray of Union.
Thomas, who had been in custody since Sunday evening, was taken before a Union County Magistrate at the Union County Jail for a bond hearing Monday evening. Due to the seriousness of the charge of attempted murder, Thomas was denied bond and will remain in jail until his initial hearing in General Sessions Court on Nov. 8.
During his hearing, Thomas waived his right to a court-appointed attorney, saying he wanted to get his own lawyer.
In addition to the attempted murder charge, Thomas is also charged with simple possession of marijuana.
Thomas’ arrest was announced Monday afternoon by Union County Sheriff David Taylor who said that on Sunday evening around 9:30 p.m., 911 dispatchers received a call about a person lying in the road on the 200 block of Munro Street in the Union area. When deputies arrived, Taylor said they found the victim, Gray, lying in the roadway with multiple gunshot wounds.
Taylor said that EMS was called the scene and transported Gray to Union City Park from where he was airlifted to Spartanburg Regional Medical Center. Upon arrival, Taylor said Gray was immediately taken into surgery. He said that Gray is heavily sedated and is listed in critical condition in ICU at Spartanburg Regional and facing at least two more surgeries.
Despite his wounds, Taylor said Gray was still conscious and was able to give deputies a description of the vehicle from which shots had been fired at him as well as a description of its driver.
While EMS personnel were treating Gray at the scene, Taylor said that deputies saw a vehicle at the nearby intersection of Munro and Siam streets that matched the description given them by Gray. As they approached the vehicle, Taylor said deputies saw that the driver matched the description Gray had given them.
In addition, Taylor said that when deputies approached the vehicle they smelled the strong odor of marijuana coming from inside it. Taylor said that the driver, later identified as Thomas, was asked if had marijuana. He said that Thomas responded by handing a deputy a hand-rolled marijuana cigarette. Thomas was then placed under arrested and transported jail.
As deputies continued to investigate the shooting, Taylor said the the SLED Crime Scene Unit was called to process the crime scene. A warrant was also obtained to search Thomas’ vehicle and Taylor said the ensuing search turned up more marijuana, money, and a black 9mm automatic pistol. He said the pistol, which was behind the glove compartment of the vehicle, matched the shell casings found at the scene.
Even though Thomas is charged with attempted murder in the shooting, Taylor said Tuesday that investigators have yet to determine a motive. He said that when Thomas was taken into custody he immediately asked for an attorney.
While the investigation is continuing Taylor commended the people of the Munro Street area for the assistance they gave law enforcement in the aftermath of the shooting. He said that it was because of the information provided by witnesses along with the descriptions provided by Gray, that deputies were able to apprehend Thomas as quickly as they did.
Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090.