Two days after he survived a roadside shooting and was hospitalized, South Carolina lawyer Alex Murdaugh said Monday that he will resign from his law firm and enter rehab after months of public scrutiny following the unsolved slayings of his wife and a son in June.
“The murders of my wife and son have caused an incredibly difficult time in my life,” Murdaugh said in a statement.
“I have made a lot of decisions that I truly regret,” he said without elaborating, adding that he decided he needs to go to rehab “after a long battle that has been exacerbated by these murders.”
“I am immensely sorry to everyone I’ve hurt including my family, friends and colleagues,” he said. “I ask for prayers as I rehabilitate myself and my relationships.”
The statement, his first since he was shot along a rural road in Hampton County, is certain to feed the questions swirling around the mysterious circumstances of the fatal shootings of his wife, Margaret, 52, and their son Paul, 22.
The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division has released few details, saying it does not want to compromise the investigation. Margaret and Paul Murdaugh’s bodies were found June 7 near dog kennels on the family’s hunting property in Colleton County, west of Charleston. They had been shot to death.
Murdaugh’s father, a grandfather and a great-grandfather all held the top prosecutor’s position in the state’s 14th Circuit, which covers a region of South Carolina known as the Lowcountry, and wielded power in the same role for more than eight decades. Murdaugh was a part-time prosecutor in the office and worked for a private law firm.
Murdaugh dialed 911 Saturday afternoon and said he had been shot while he was changing a flat tire, said Tommy Crosby, a spokesman for the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division.
Murdaugh was flown to Memorial Health University Medical Center in Savannah, Georgia, for treatment of a “superficial” head wound, Crosby said.
Investigators have not indicated a possible motive.
Jim Griffin, a family friend and attorney for Murdaugh, said Saturday that a pickup truck passed Murdaugh while he was changing his tire. The truck turned around, and someone inside opened fire, Griffin said.
A family spokesperson said Murdaugh was expected to make a full recovery.
The family’s powerful legal connections were in the spotlight after Paul Murdaugh was indicted in a boat crash in 2019 that left one of its young passengers dead, a 19-year-old woman. A police report said the teens were “grossly intoxicated.”
Paul Murdaugh pleaded not guilty to three felony counts of boating under the influence and was awaiting trial. As a matter of protocol, the charges were dropped last month.
In addition, Alex Murdaugh’s father, family patriarch Randolph Murdaugh III, died at 81 just days after Paul and Margaret Murdaugh were killed — adding another tragedy to an already reeling family.
Murdaugh announced a $100,000 reward after the deaths of his wife and their son.
Erik Ortiz is a staff writer for NBC News focusing on racial injustice and social inequality.