ST. HELENA ISLAND, S.C. (WSAV) — Investigators are sharing new details in a shooting that killed three people on St. Helena Island last week.
According to the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO), investigators believe Jaquan Sanders forced his way into his estranged girlfriend’s home on Eddings Point Road resulting in the fatal shooting.
BCSO deputies responded to the home around 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 26, following a report from Robin Saunders that Sanders was breaking in. She told dispatchers she knew Sanders, and investigators later learned he was the estranged boyfriend of Robin Saunders’ daughter Kalila, who also lived at the Eddings Point Road home.
When the first deputy arrived, BCSO said he saw the door had been damaged, consistent with Robin Saunders’ report of Sanders’ break-in. Inside the home, he found the 24-year-old lying unresponsive on the floor of the upstairs hallway with a pistol in his hand.
In an upstairs bedroom, the deputy found the mother and daughter wounded on the floor. BCSO said a pistol was found on a bed nearby.
Paramedics responded to the scene and determined Kalila Saunders, 22, and Sanders were dead from apparent gunshot wounds.
Robin Saunders was taken to the Beaufort Memorial Hospital where she died a short time later, according to BCSO. She was 55.
The sheriff’s office said that although the case remains under investigation, “There were no indications that anyone was involved in the incident other than the three deceased.”
Investigators said based on information obtained so far, they believe Sanders “unlawfully and forcibly” entered the Saunders’ home, armed with a pistol, which prompted either the mother or her daughter to shoot him in self-defense.
BCSO said forensic analyses are pending, which could help determine additional details in the investigation.
Editor’s note: A previous version of this story was first published on Jan. 26, 2022.