HHI convict wanted for shooting woman in head arrested in GA, ending 3-month manhunt

Hilton Head man Bernard Garvin,31, accused of shooting a woman in the head in June was arrested in Georgia and transported Friday afternoon to Beaufort County. The shooting occurred at Hilton Head Gardens apartments, a location at the center of a lawsuit because of numerous violent events.

The 32-year-old shooting victim, Ashley Thomas, sued Hilton Head Gardens apartments in mid-August, claiming the “high-crime” complex failed to prevent numerous violent incidents by means of adequate security measures, a lack of working surveillance cameras and a failure to warn residents about the property’s history of crime. The lawsuit is pending in Beaufort County civil court.

Beaufort County investigators say Garvin shot the woman once in the head around 8:30 p.m. on June 9, after she attempted to intervene in his argument with another woman in the apartments’ parking lot. He also fired several shots at a nearby vehicle and pointed his gun at another person before fleeing, according to the Friday afternoon alert from the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office.

Garvin was arrested Sept. 26 in Stockbridge, GA by police from several local agencies. He faces charges of attempted murder, pointing and presenting firearms and possession of a weapon during a violent crime, jail records show.

Garvin was in custody as of 5 p.m. Friday at the Beaufort County Detention Center, where he awaits a bond hearing.

When we publish mugshots

The Island Packet and Beaufort Gazette publishes police booking photos, or mugshots, in the following instances:

  • In situations where a public figure or someone in a position of public trust is arrested

  • In cases where there is an immediate and widespread threat to public safety

  • In cases where the arrested person is accused of a crime reporters have evidence to believe involved numerous, unknown victims

Reporters will avoid using mugshots as lead images for online articles in order to limit their circulation on social media, except in cases where the public is served by the immediate identification of the accused. Reporters and editors may use discretion in situations that don’t meet the criteria outlined in this policy but still present a compelling reason to publish a mugshot.

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