Man who shot pardoned Piggly Wiggly pig charged

Elizabeth Steed with Maggie and a Piggly Wiggly mascot

A motorist on Tuesday fatally shot a more than 700-pound pig that was pardoned three years ago by Piggly Wiggly after she escaped from her pen in rural Meggett and wandered onto a road, according to the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office.

David Seth Ashmore, 26, of Smoak Road in Hollywood told deputies that he shot the brown and pink pig because he was worried that she would cause a crash, an incident report stated.

He was charged with malicious injury to an animal and given a citation for $1,092.

In a brief interview, Ashmore said he did nothing but eliminate a threat to motorists and residents standing nearby. As a hunter, he said his gunfire was controlled and didn’t pose any further danger to the community.

He regarded the pig as a wild animal “with tusks and long hair” and devoid of markings to distinguish it as a pet.

“Hogs are aggressive animals, and they attack people all the time,” he said. “That’s what I want people to understand.”

The creature was said to be a female named Maggie Pig.

The pig’s owner, 47-year-old Naomi Elizabeth Steed of Ethel Post Office Road in Meggett, said Ashmore had planned to haul her pet off to a meat market.

Witnesses told deputies that Ashmore drove by the pig near 6940 Ethel Post Office Road in Meggett, which is just south of Hollywood, and said, “I am going home to get a gun, and I am going to take that pig to Burbage Meats,” a reference to a butcher on U.S. Highway 17 in Ravenel.

The report stated that Ashmore returned with a 9 mm Sig Sauer pistol and aimed at the pig standing on the roadside. The pig was shot twice — in the upper and lower front shoulder — then she moseyed into the road and fell.

Responding deputies, who were summoned about 5:43 p.m., found a crowd of 15 to 20 people huddled around the dead critter.

The witnesses, who refused to divulge their names to the authorities, said that Ashmore had been preparing to load the animal into his vehicle, but their arrival foiled his plans, the report stated.

Ashmore told a deputy that the pig was 100 feet from a corner and could have caused a “major accident” if a vehicle were to round the corner and hit her.

Steed soon arrived and said that the pig had broken free from a pen because of a loose board. She was upset, the report stated, when the deputy told her that both she and Ashmore shared the blame for the circumstances that led to the pig’s untimely death.

Later on her Facebook page, Steed said that Maggie Pig had been pardoned by the Piggly Wiggly supermarket chain in 2010 and was sent to her farm-animal rescue “to live a long, happy life.”

She said she had been notified about the escape of Maggie and “her buddy” Peaches, who was quickly corralled. But Maggie continued roaming free before Steed could catch up to her, and she was “senselessly slaughtered,” Steed’s Facebook post noted.

“We hope (animal control deputies) provide justice for sweet Maggie,” Steed wrote. “Surely all pigs go to heaven, especially our girl Maggie.”

Reach Andrew Knapp at 937-5414 or twitter.com/offlede.

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