Warrants: 30+ shell casings found near slain Florence Regional Airport officer’s body

James Edward Bell
James Edward Bell((Source: Florence County Detention Center))
Updated: Jan. 6, 2020 at 8:52 PM EST
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FLORENCE, S.C. (WMBF) – The State Law Enforcement Divison released arrest warrants Monday night, giving new details on a shooting that took the life of a young Florence Regional Airport officer.

The shooting early Sunday morning killed 26-year-old officer Jackson Ryan Winkeler, of Dillon.

Jackson Ryan Winkeler
Jackson Ryan Winkeler(Source: Florence Regional Airport)

James Edward Bell, 37, from Homestead, Florida was arrested in connection with the shooting. He is charged with murder, discharging a firearm into an occupied vehicle, possession of a weapon during a violent crime and armed robbery with a deadly weapon.

Warrants revealed that Winkeler initiated a traffic stop on a white 2014 Chrysler 200 vehicle on airport property early Sunday morning. During the traffic stop, Bell shot and killed Winkeler, according to the warrants.

Documents show that when additional officers arrived to the scene, Winkeler was found dead and lying on the ground next to his vehicle. Warrants also show that his department-issued gun was missing and the suspect vehicle was not on the scene.

RELATED STORY: Florence airport officer killed in shooting; suspect in custody

“Officers found an additional 9mm handgun near Off. Winkeler that did not belong to him and more than 30 spent shell casings,” the warrants state.

Florence County deputies were able to locate Bell near Highway 52 and while performing traffic stop procedures, deputies found Winkeler’s gun, along with a magazine that matched the 9mm handgun that was found by Winkeler’s body.

Bell is due in court Tuesday morning for a bond hearing.

SLED’s investigation into the deadly shooting is ongoing.

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