After dragging his estranged wife into her Berkeley County home last week, murder suspect Darryl Flowers yelled to a concerned neighbor that he only wished to have a conversation with the woman. He then slammed the door shut and shot her in the face, a 911 tape released by Berkeley County officials revealed.
Tammy Flowers, 36, died Wednesday while clutching a small kitchen knife in her hand, sheriff's deputies said. The woman's two nieces, who haven't been identified, also received gunshot wounds in the domestic dispute.
Flowers, a 36-year-old New York native, was arrested Thursday following a police pursuit on a Maryland highway.
He was taken to a hospital for treatment of self-inflicted slashes to his neck and wrists, authorities said, then booked Friday at the Baltimore City Detention Center on charges of murder, two counts of attempted murder, two counts of kidnapping and possession of a firearm during the commission of a violent crime.
According to Berkeley County Sheriff's Maj. Rick Ollic, the dead woman's 15- and 13-year-old nieces remained hospitalized on Monday. The older teen was deemed to be in good condition, he said, but the younger was still listed as critical.
Both girls have been placed under the care of the Department of Social Services until a suitable relative can be located, Ollic said. Tammy Flowers had assumed custody of the girls after her own sister's death.
Berkeley County sheriff's deputies reported no prior domestic-violence related calls to the woman's home on Elmwood Place before the fatal shooting. Several neighbors, however, have said Flowers repeatedly returned to the house to keep an eye on his wife after the couple separated.
According to the 911 tape, a neighbor told a dispatcher that he watched as Flowers waited for his wife to arrive at the home Wednesday. The couple briefly argued, then Flowers dragged the woman inside the house, the neighbor reported.
The neighbor ran across the street and attempted to help, but Flowers insisted that he only wanted to talk with the woman, the caller reported. The neighbor ran from the home after seeing Flowers pull out a gun.
The neighbor returned to find Tammy Flowers lying on the floor, apparently dead, he frantically told a dispatcher. He yelled for another person at the scene to put pressure against one girl's shoulder to stanch her bleeding.
"They were going through some type of dispute," the neighbor said during the call. "This guy, man. Oh my God. ... What is wrong with these people in this world today." He stayed on the line about eight minutes before hanging up to speak with deputies.
Investigators found multiple shell casings by the home's front door and near a broken coffee table, a report released by sheriff's deputies said. The home's master bedroom appeared ransacked, the report said.
Tammy Flowers' two nieces sat on a couch next to a large knife and a box cutter, deputies said. One of the girls told deputies that her "uncle did it" and that she was scared.
Flowers escaped in a blue Chevrolet Impala minutes before investigators arrived at the scene.
He abandoned the Impala in Goose Creek and asked a friend to give him a ride to Lincolnville, implying that his car had broken down, Ollic said. The friend left Flowers alone in his Ford Explorer and the suspect drove off in the vehicle, according to an incident report.
Flowers was captured by Maryland State Police after slashing his neck and wrists with a box cutter inside the stolen vehicle, authorities said.
It wasn't immediately clear when Flowers would be extradited back to South Carolina, Ollic said.
Reach Christina Elmore at 937-5908 or at Twitter.com/celmorePC.
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