COLUMBIA, S.C. – An 88-year-old client angrily seeking a down payment back on a deal shot a real estate broker in his office and then sat down in a nearby parking lot until police arrested him, authorities said Wednesday.
A disgruntled Richard Blow burst into the office just after 2:20 p.m. and shot Jerry O'Neil, a 68-year-old broker with Coldwell Banker United Realtors, once in the abdomen, police said.
Lt. Michael Belk, a spokesman for the Rock Hill Police Department, said about 10 other workers were in the office but weren't hurt and didn't see the shooting. O'Neil was hospitalized with serious injuries, he said.
Police were already on their way to the office after receiving a call about an armed and angry customer when they received a second call that shots had been fired, Belk said.
Belt said the suspect has been charged with assault and battery with intent to kill, adding he could face additional charges. A bond hearing for Blow is likely to be held Thursday, Belk said, adding he didn't know if the man had an attorney.
At the scene, police said they recovered a small-caliber handgun used in the shooting.
Belk said Blow had put a deposit down towards the purchase of real estate but decided he wanted his money back.
"It's apparently an ongoing dispute," Belk said without giving specifics of the deal or the amount of money reportedly involved.
O'Neil has been with Coldwell banker since 2008 and is the broker in charge, or manager, of the Rock Hill office, Coldwell corporate spokeswoman Kim Cox said.
"I have no idea what even motivated this individual to take the actions that he took," Cox said.
Rock Hill is about 70 miles north of Columbia.