Sentinel Progress

Easley shooting suspect nabbed in Virginia

EASLEY — A man suspected of being involved in a fatal shooting on March 10 has been arrested in Virginia, authorities said.

Joshua Ray Wilder, 32, from Jonesville, Va., was wanted by the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office for Involuntary Manslaughter.

According to the PCSO, deputies responded to 247 Courtney Drive in Easley following a 911 call from the homeowner who stated an out-of-town guest had been shot by another guest.

Although initial reports indicated the discharge of the weapon was accidental, two of the guests — including the suspected shooter — fled the scene before authorities arrived.

The victim was identified as 37-year-old Christy Parsons, a cousin of the shooter, officials said.

She was transported to the hospital with a wound to the upper torso and was pronounced dead a short time following the shooting, they said.

“Approximately four other adults in addition to the victim were inside the residence when the shot was fired,” said PCSO Chief Deputy Creed Hashe.

Throughout the course of the investigation, detectives confirmed a single gunshot was fired from a handgun as the shooter was seated on or at least near a sofa in the den area.

“The projectile traveled just a few feet before striking the victim as she stood near the den,” said Hashe. “She collapsed seconds later in that same area.”

The weapon did not belong to the homeowner, he said.

Officials believed Wilder fled back to Virginia and authorities entered him into a nationwide database for law enforcement information (NCIC) as being wanted for Negligent Homicide.

Two days later, on March 12, PCSO was notified just after 5 p.m. that the Lee County Sheriff’s Office in Jonesville, Va., had arrested Wilder without incident.

Records state Wilder waived extradition, allowing Pickens County detectives to bring him back to S.C.

Wilder was booked into the Pickens County Detention Center at approximately 5:10 p.m. on March 13 where officials say he will be detained pending his arraignment by a Pickens County Magistrate.

Joshua Ray Wilder Ray Wilder Courtesy photo
Suspect was extradited back to Pickens on Tuesday.

By Kasie Strickland

Reach Kasie Strickland at 864-855-0355.