A little more than two weeks after a shooting at his shop injured three people, a Sumter small-business owner says he is still "overwhelmed" by the outpouring of love and support from the community.
Palmetto Tire and Auto owner Philip Marlowe …
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Palmetto Tire and Auto owner Philip Marlowe spoke Wednesday to The Sumter Item about the acts of kindness and thoughtfulness his business has received from customers, local officials, the Sumter Police Department, local vendors and even competitors since the Oct. 21 shooting.
Those acts have included cards, lunches, food, prayers and plenty of other words of encouragement, Marlowe said.
"People are still dropping by every day and wanting to know how everyone is doing," he said. "Our customers have been fantastic to us. We have been blessed by everyone in Sumter. We're just so overwhelmed with the support and thoughtfulness of this community. It's been wonderful."
Business is still busy, just as it has always been, Marlowe said.
Palmetto Tire employees Cissy Christmas and Kenneth Hargrove and long-time customer Perry Register were injured in the shooting. All three are making progress from their injuries, according to Marlowe, without any anticipated long-term effects.
Marlowe said previously it was a "miracle" that no one died in the incident.
Bond has been denied for the suspected shooter, Ozzy Alexander Mooneyham, 25, a transgender man, of Roxbury Court, who is being detained at the Sumter County Sheriff's Office Detention Center.
According to the police department, Mooneyham reportedly shot one other person at Chestnut Pointe Apartments on Roxbury Court about 7:30 a.m. on Oct. 21 before fleeing in his car to Palmetto Tire at 29 E. Wesmark Blvd. in what was described as an active shooter situation. He reportedly fired all 10 to 12 bullets in his clip to a .22-caliber rifle inside the tire and auto repair shop's main office area.
Mooneyham has been charged with nine counts of attempted murder among other charges.
Marlowe has said Mooneyham has no relation to anyone at the store and has never been a customer.
"Though there was tragedy," Marlowe said, "great good has come out of the circumstances with the prayers, support and encouragement."
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