SUMMERVILLE — A 57-year-old woman was driving to a lunch date with her son Thursday afternoon when a felon from Texas shot her to death in what authorities called a “random” act of violence.
The slaying happened around 1:30 p.m. at a traffic light near the intersection of Trolley and Bacons Bridge roads, Coroner Chris Nisbet said. Lynn Michelle Harrison of Eastover Circle in Summerville was shot in the neck, he said, and she died at the scene.
“It was just apparently a random shooting,” Nisbet said. “She was in her car going to meet her son for lunch. ... She was shot right at the traffic light.”
Officers from the Summerville Police Department arrested 32-year-old Jimi Redman Jr., a military veteran and felon from the Fort Worth, Texas, area. Redman faces a murder charge in Harrison’s death. He has no previous arrest history in South Carolina but at least three arrests that led to convictions in Texas.
A concerned citizen first called the police to report that a man, who was later identified as Redman, was driving a red sport utility vehicle at an intersection on the Berlin G. Myers Parkway, Capt. Jon Rogers said. He was screaming and showing that he had a gun, Rogers said.
While the officers responded to that call, the authorities said Redman fatally shot Harrison, who was sitting in a separate SUV on eastbound East Carolina Avenue near the Sawmill Village shopping center.
The officers caught Redman near the scene, Rogers said. Redman, who appeared in a police photograph wearing a motorcycling T-shirt and denim overalls, is expected to have a bond hearing Friday.
Photos from the Summerville Journal Scene showed Harrison’s GMC sport utility vehicle with a hole in the driver’s side window. Police officers also stretched crime-scene tape around Redman’s red Ford SUV.
Hours later, Harrison’s family gathered on the porch at her neighbor’s home. The loved ones, some of whom had been crying, declined to discuss the ordeal.
At Castillo’s Ristorante & Pizzeria down the street from the scene, Esley Castillo said the woman’s son is a regular customer. He usually eats with one other person or with a group, said Castillo, who works in the kitchen there.
The man was by himself Thursday, but he appeared to be waiting for someone. He ordered a drink and an appetizer, Castillo said.
“He was constantly checking his phone, and he kept getting up to look out the window and then would sit back down,” Castillo said, adding that the man waited for 30 to 45 minutes. “About five to 10 minutes after he ordered his cheese sticks, he handed us a $20 bill and said he would be back, but he never came back.”
Redman’s Facebook page indicates that he was working as a welder and had been in the Army. It shows pictures of a younger Redman clad in desert camouflage with a rifle slung over a shoulder as he stands near an armored vehicle.
The page features few messages in Redman’s own words. Some posts in mid-March mentioned post-traumatic stress disorder.
A cartoon he shared showed a destitute veteran holding a sign that said, “Homeless, suicidal and suffering from PTSD.”
On Tuesday, he shared an image from a Facebook veterans group.
“I was prepared to serve,” the caption on the image says. “However, when I came home, I was not prepared to be forgotten.”
He amassed a history of misdemeanor and felony convictions, including an assault, in his native state, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety.
Police in Arlington charged him in September 2007, and he later pleaded guilty to evading detention and second-offense driving while intoxicated. He served 180 days in jail and two years on probation, Texas records showed.
He pleaded guilty to drunken driving a third time after an arrest in January 2009 by Grapevine police. Because of his history, the conviction made him a felon, according to his rap sheet. He was sentenced to two years behind bars.
He also served a day in jail after an assault that injured a family member in March 2013 in Fort Worth, the records showed.
Redman was most recently arrested in Tarrant County on another drunken driving charge, according to court records there. He was free on $5,000 bail as he awaited an April 14 court hearing.
The death Thursday that he was implicated in was the fifth homicide reported this year in Dorchester County.
It was the first slaying reported this year in the town of Summerville. The Dorchester County Sheriff’s Office, which has handled more fatal shootings in 2015 than any other police agency in the greater Charleston area, has investigated the other four.
The shooting was the 13th homicide in the tri-county area.
Employees at businesses close to the scene in Summerville said they hadn’t heard any gunshots, but noticed that traffic was tied up for a while.
Mateo Patino, a bagger at Harris Teeter in Sawmill Village, said the shooting had caused a buzz among shoppers.
“I just saw the aftermath of it,” Patino said. “There were a lot of cars passing through here. Someone said there was an accident.”
Melissa Boughton contributed to this report. Reach Andrew Knapp at 937-5414 or twitter.com/offlede.