SC man executed for killing armored van guard - - Columbia, South Carolina

SC man executed for killing armored van guard

COLUMBIA, SC (AP) - A man who killed an armored car guard ten years ago was executed Friday night by lethal injection.

Forty-year-old Calvin Alphonso Shuler was declared dead at 6:17pm. He made no final statement.

Shuler's request for clemency was denied by Governor Mark Sanford Friday.

Shuler was arrested for murder in 1997. Investigators say he confessed to the brutal Dorchester County killing.

"My stepfather was a kind, caring, Christian man," says Brenda Lee. Lee tells us about her stepfather James Brooks of Columbia. "He had retired from the post office and started working with the armored van service to fill some of the spare time he had."

Shuler was armed with a handgun and assault rifle when he ordered two guards out of an armored van that was stopped outside a Harleyville bank on December 3rd, 1997.

Shuler was a former co-worker of the guards. He exchanged gunfire with the men before driving off in the van with Brenda's stepfather,  James "J.B." Brooks, the third guard who was locked in the back.

Officials say Shuler gunned Brooks down in the back of the van. Brenda Lee says, "It was so brutal, so violent, knowing my stepfather had over 20 bullet wounds from an assault rifle - some three-inch in diameter. Every organ in his body had been hit."

Authorities later found the 77-year-old's body in the van, which was abandoned along a dirt road several miles from the bank.

Officers captured Shuler a few days later. In 1998, he was sentenced to death.

Lee planned to watch Shuler's execution. "It won't make it better. It will not bring back the loss."

But she wanted to be there for the stepfather she loved. "I think I'll think about the 20 bullet wounds in my stepfather."

"I want his memory to be known today in light of what's going on with the execution."

Reported by Jennifer Wilson with AP

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