Landrum business owner shoots at assailants

Published 5:38 pm Monday, April 2, 2012

Police searching for two suspects
The owner of a downtown Landrum business was attacked during the early morning hours of Saturday, March 31, but she fought back, firing a gun at the two suspects.
The owner of Cakes and Confections 4U in Landrum said she was exiting her store around 1 a.m. when she was attacked by two men.
She said the men attempted to sexually assault her before she pulled a gun out and fired at them. The suspects ran away on foot as the owner ran to the police station nearby.
Landrum Police Chief Tim Edgens said the department called for the help of the Spartanburg County Dog Tracking Team, which tracked the suspects for about ¼ of a mile before losing the scents.
The business owner, who wishes to remain unnamed, said she was working on an order late Friday night, left the store in her car and remembered she forgot her umbrella. She said she turned around, pulled up to the back of the store and left the car running, with her purse and briefcase still inside. She said she had her 32-caliber pistol in her purse, but when she put items in the trunk, she retrieved it and put in the front passenger seat. She said she doesn’t know why, but she grabbed the gun when re-entering the store and put it in her back pocket.
“Thank God I put that gun in my back pocket,” she said.
She said she then got the umbrella, which was on the front porch landing, and said she remembers seeing flashes of shadows, but didn’t think anything of it.
“I locked the door and when I turned around they were right on me,” she said. “One hit me in the jaw three times.”
She said the two kept saying for her to go in the building but she refused and kept asking what they wanted. The suspects ripped her necklace and earrings out and tried to pull her ring off her finger, she said. At some point, she hit one of her assailants with the umbrella and must have held onto the umbrella through the attack because she was still carrying it when she arrived at the police station a little later.
She told them she would do whatever they wanted, and one of them grabbed her shirt, she said. After fighting with the two for eight to 10 minutes, she said she remembered she had the gun in her pocket. She told them if they wanted money she had some in her back pocket and reached around and grabbed the gun, she said. One assailant grabbed at the gun but stepped back, she said.
“I just aimed and fired,” she said. “If I hit him, it was from the waist down.”
The two took off running, she said.
She said she ran to the police station shaking with the gun in her hand and officer Tony Snow, “who was awesome,” she said, took her inside the station before trying to locate the suspects.
The fired round has not been located, according to Edgens. He said the suspects ran up N. Shamrock Avenue toward the Landrum Fire Department.
“I’m just proud (of her) that they didn’t get her back in the store,” Edgens said.
The police department does regular business checks at night and has increased patrols at the store since the assault. The store owner suffered severe bruises on her face from the blows to the jaw but did not seek medical attention.
The suspects are described as between the ages of 18 and 22 with one black male and one either racially mixed or Hispanic.
They were described as wearing dark clothing, with the black male wearing a dark hoodie that was pulled over his eyes and the other wearing a baseball cap.
Pending charges on the suspects include sexual assault and strong-armed robbery, according to the Landrum Police Department.
Anyone with information regarding the assault is urged to call the Landrum Police Department at 864-457-7281.