THE killings of Paul Murdaugh, 22, and his mom, 52, were "double murder" and authorities believe the son was targeted after he was charged in a teen's 2019 death.

Paul and Margaret Murdaugh were found shot to death at their hunting lodge in South Carolina around 10pm on Monday.


A law enforcement source told The Island Packet that Paul was likely the target, while Margaret may have just been killed because she was there.

Paul was awaiting trial on a charge of boating under the influence causing death in a February 2019 crash that killed 19-year-old Mallory Beach.

The woman’s body was found seven days after the crash.

Authorities have not yet said whether they definitively believe that the attack on the Murdaugh family is related to that incident.

Paul had previously pleaded not guilty to multiple felony charges related to Beach's death.


The wreck led to stories questioning whether his family’s ties to the legal system in the area affected the investigation.

For generations, members of the Murdaugh family were heavily involved in the Hampton County prosecutor's office.

Alex Murdaugh, Paul's father and Margaret's husband, currently works part-time for the 14th Circuit solicitor's office, according to Post and Courier.

The office was previously run by his father, grandfather and great-grandfather, according to the outlet.

Just last week, Mallory's mother, Renee Beach, filed a civil lawsuit against Murdaugh's family, according to WIS10.

Colleton County deputies turned the shooting investigation over to the State Law Enforcement Division, whose agents released no information beyond confirming they were looking into the deaths as a double homicide. 

The division did not immediately return The Sun's request for further comment.

No arrests have been made as of Saturday, though police have insisted there is no ongoing threat to the public.

Two firearms were reportedly used to carry out the killings — a shotgun and an assault rifle.

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