Charges filed against man accused of killing Florence airport officer

State News

FLORENCE, SC (WSPA) – Charges have been filed against the 37-year-old man accused of killing an airport public safety officer in Florence, Sunday.

According to SLED, James Edward Bell is charged with Murder, Discharging of Firearm into Vehicle, and Possession of Weapon During Violent Crime.

James Edward Bell (From: Florence Co. Detention Center)

Bell is accused of shooting Officer Jackson Ryan Winkeler during a traffic stop at the Florence Regional Airport.

Warrants said responding officers found Officer Winkeler dead on the ground outside of his vehicle with his weapon missing.

An empty 9mm handgun was found at the scene along with more than 30 spent shell casings, according to the warrants.

Deputies with the Florence County Sheriff’s Office found Bell in the same vehicle from the original traffic stop near Highway 52. The warrants said Bell was in possession of Officer Winkeler’s department issued weapon and a magazine matching the other gun found at the scene.

Bell has been booked into the Florence County Detention Center and jail records show he is also charged with armed robbery.

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