Second suspect accused of shooting Richland Co. deputy taken into custody - - Columbia, South Carolina

Second suspect accused of shooting Richland Co. deputy taken into custody

Patricia J. Schober Patricia J. Schober
Mark Randolph Browning Mark Randolph Browning

(Columbia) November 22, 2006 - Authorities say they've captured a man accused of shooting a Richland County deputy.

36-year-old Mark Randolph Browning was taken into custody Tuesday afternoon in a wooded area near Blythewood. He was unarmed. Officers think he was in the woods since the shooting.

According to Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott, Browning was captured around 4pm about 100 yards from the command post. Lott says Browning may have hypothermia, and the weather may have been a factor that helped to bring Browning into the open.

Browning will be charged with assault and battery with intent to kill, resisting arrest with deadly force, and manufacturing methamphetamines.

The manhunt began on Sunday after an off-duty Richland County deputy was shot twice when officials say he came across the operators of a meth lab. According to Lieutenant Chris Cowan, Corporal Larry Payne was shot near North Langford Road.

Cowan says Cpl. Payne and a constable were riding ATV's in a Blythewood field while off duty when they came upon two people. After talking to the pair, Payne and the constable learned they were operating a methamphetamine lab.

Payne told WIS what happened to him and his friend, state constable Mark Gill, when they called for back-up, "They couldn't determine where we were at because we were so far in the woods, so I had to send Mark Gill back to ... flag them down."

"And at that point, while he was gone two or three minutes, the suspect told me that he wasn't going back to jail, and he looked over at her and he said either, 'Are you ready to die?' or 'We're going to die.' And that's when he tries to light the meth lab on fire, you know, knowing that would cause a large explosion.

"I took off running and I pulled my weapon out. And he kept trying to light it and he couldn't ever get it lit.

"About that time he reached in the back of the Ford Bronco and pulled out a rifle. And at that time he come around the corner and we both started shooting at each other."

After he was shot, Payne says he thought about his father. He says it was his dad's birthday and he didn't want to die on his dad's birthday. Payne has a punctured lung, broken collarbone and injuries to his leg from the gunshots, but he is expected to fully recover.

After Payne was hit, officials think the suspects got into a vehicle, wrecked, got out and ran away on foot.

Deputies found meth and a rifle in the vehicle. Officials have matched ballistics from the casings found near the shooting location with the rifle.

A massive manhunt for the couple was set up, encompassing a two-mile radius. Patricia J. Schober, 43, was captured near the intersection of Grover Wilson Road and Langford Road on Monday afternoon.

According to Sheriff Lott, Schober told officials she ran when the shooting started and hid in the woods. He says she dug a hole, covered herself and stayed there overnight.

Sheriff Leon Lott says both suspects have a history of drug involvement, "They're believed from the Orangeburg area. They've been arrested for methamphetamine manufacturing before. So what we found them doing, it's exactly what they've been doing."

Browning's bond was denied Wednesday. Schober had a bond hearing Tuesday. She remains in jail.

Updated 5:52pm by Bryce Mursch

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