South Carolina Man Charged With Attempted Murder After Driving Into a Dozen Cemetery Mourners

Image: The aftermath at Greenlawn Memorial Park
The aftermath at Greenlawn Memorial ParkWIS-TV

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By Alastair Jamieson and Gemma DiCasimirro

A 64-year-old driver has been charged with the attempted murder of 12 people at a Columbia, South Carolina, cemetery after police say he deliberately struck a funeral crowd — but his potential motive remains unclear.

James Kester is scheduled to appear for his first bond hearing at 9 a.m. local time Thursday, NBC station WIS reported.

He is accused of intentionally driving his car into the 12 victims at a grave site at Greenlawn Memorial Park at about 1:30 p.m. Wednesday.

The victims, whose ages range from 11 to 78, were treated at local hospitals for non-life threatening injuries, Columbia Police Department said in a news release.

“Columbia Police Department investigators continue to determine the motive for the crime,” it said. “There is no indication at this time that Kester is acquainted with the victims.”

Seven of the victims were treated at Palmetto Health Baptist hospital and discharged while the five others were treated at the Palmetto Health Richland hospital where one was in serious condition and four were in fair condition, WIS reported.

Greenlawn Memorial Park General Manager Suzanne Elkins told the station: “They were already having a horrible day, and this just made it more tragic.”

The aftermath at Greenlawn Memorial ParkWIS-TV