Two Soldiers were killed Sunday at a South Carolina bar while trying to protect a woman that was being attacked by a man.
Staff Sgt. Charles Allen Judge Jr., 40, and Sgt. 1st Class Jonathan Michael Prins, 29, were shot and killed early Sunday morning by Joseph Elijah Mills, 25, at Frayed Knot Bar and Grill.
Mills was arrested shortly after killing both Judge Jr. and Prins. He is charged with two counts of murder.
According to police officials, Mills was in a fight with a woman outside of the bar and both Prins and Judge Jr. intervened to stop the assault. Several patrons at the bar also stepped in to separate the woman and Mills from each other. Mills then shot and killed both Prins and Judge Jr.
The Army Times reported that the owner of the bar, Justin Brooks saw Mills kicking and hitting the woman while she was lying on the ground. People then threw him off the woman and then Mills shot back at them.
Mills then took off but was later captured by police Sunday afternoon. He was denied bond during his hearing Monday.
According to the Lexington County Coroners Office, Prins was shot three times while Judge Jr was shot twice.
“I’m very sorry about what happened,” Mills said at his arraignment. “I never meant for it to happen like that. I was being lynched by eight people because I was chasing a girl who grabbed drugs off the seat and took off running.”
Prins was a drill sergeant who served tours in both Afghanistan and Iraq. Judge Jr. was a staff sergeant for the South Carolina National Guard who had served since 1994 as well as doing a tour in Iraq in 2004. He also was an engineer instructor at the McGrady Training Center in the 218th Regiment Leadership Command.