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Warrants issued for suspect in Rock Hill sports bar shooting

By Jonathan McFadden
jmcfadden@heraldonline.com
Justin Faile
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Justin Faile

ROCK HILL Warrants have been issued for the man witnesses said shot three people outside a Rock Hill sports bar Saturday during a fight after an employee’s birthday party, according to the York County Sheriff’s Office.

Authorities will likely file more charges but so far have issued four warrants that will charge Justin Dru Faile, 23, with three counts of attempted murder and one count of pointing and presenting a firearm, Sheriff’s Office spokesman Trent Faris said Tuesday morning.

Deputies found two of the gunshot victims, Zackary Cleveland, 24, and Bobby Trader, 23, lying on the ground in the parking lot of the Palmetto Sports Bar at the intersection of Firetower and Porter roads at 2 a.m. Saturday. Faile was found near both men, badly beaten and lying on the ground with a handgun just a few feet away from him.

Deputies learned a third man, Samuel Fitcher, 25, had been shot in the arm. Fitcher on Monday declined to comment. Authorities on Saturday said they believe one of the gunshot victims was a bystander who had nothing to do with the altercation.

Faile and Trader were taken to Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, and Cleveland and Fitcher were taken to Piedmont Medical Center, but they were treated and released.

Faile is being held at the Mecklenburg County Detention Center in Charlotte, awaiting extradition to York County, after his hospital release. He suffers from several cuts and bruises on his swollen face, and his eyes are bloodshot.

Faile’s mother declined to comment on Monday.

Authorities are still trying to figure out what prompted the fight, Faris said.

A possible motive for the shooting has not been released, and authorities have not said how the fight unfolded. Over the weekend, employees at Palmetto Sports Bar posted on the bar’s Facebook page that a guest at a birthday party became involved in a conflict with two regulars in the parking lot.

After learning of the conflict, bar staff intervened to settle the dispute. They thought “the matter was closed as those involved were in a vehicle and leaving the premises,” a bar employee said on Facebook. “It was after that the incident escalated into gunfire.”

Everyone involved in the incident has been banned from the bar, which is also reviewing its policies for possible changes to prevent future incidents.

Faile had just been released from a 30-month probation sentence that was cut short after he paid his court-ordered restitution, said Peter O’Boyle, spokesman for the state Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services.

He was sentenced to probation after pleading guilty to six counts of breaking into motor vehicles and three counts of criminal conspiracy in 2011, court records show.

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