Forest City man arrested in Marion shooting

Sep. 18, 2013 @ 03:13 AM

The alleged gunman in Saturday's shooting at Vortex nightclub in Marion was located and arrested in Spindale around 4:30 p.m. Monday, according to Rutherford County Sheriff Chris Francis.

On Monday morning the Marion Police Department contacted Rutherford County narcotics investigators for their assistance in locating Earl Spencer Boyce Jr., 35, of Forest City, for his suspected involvement in the shooting.

"We located Boyce Monday afternoon at a residence on West Street in Spindale, where he was taken into custody without incidence," Francis said.

According to a police report filed with the Marion Police Department, while patrons were winding down from a tribute to the late rapper Tupac Shakur and a birthday celebration at Vortex on Finley Road, tempers flared and gunshots were heard around 2 a.m. Saturday.

"An argument broke out inside and spilled to the outside," said Lt. Scott Spratt of the Marion Police Department, in a statement.

According to Spratt, Boyce reached in his waistband, pulled out a 40-caliber semi-automatic and fired three to four shots, hitting four people.

The four victims were transported to the hospital, one to Memorial Mission Trauma Center with serious injures, and three to McDowell Hospital with non-life threatening injuries, according to a press release from the McDowell County EMS.

Names of the victims have not been released, but all patients returned home from the hospital as of Saturday.

Vic Douglas, a cook at Vortex, called 911 Saturday after the bartender ran in and said shots were being fired, according to the police report.

Jake Asta, owner of Vortex, released a statement on Saturday concerning the shooting:

"My condolences are to the victims and this is such an unfortunate event. We (Vortex) had a birthday/family reunion party Friday night with a family that I have had a good working relationship in the past, and we agreed to do concessions for their event. I had no reason to think there would be trouble...We try to maintain a chill atmosphere and this is definitely not a typical night for us."

Boyce was transported to McDowell County and charged with assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury with intent to kill, three counts of assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury and possession of a firearm by a felon.

He received a $250,000 secured bond for his charges and his first court appearance is scheduled for today.

Boyce is the only suspect charged in Saturday's shooting and at this time, there is no motive in the shooting, according to Spratt.

Boyce has a history of criminal charges in Rutherford County including breaking and entering, larceny, common law robbery, communicating threats, assault on a female, driving while license revoked, possession of cocaine and marijuana with intent to sell or deliver, resisting a public officer and fleeing to elude arrest.

In Feb. 2001, charges for assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury with intent to kill were dismissed for an incident in Dec. 2000.