COLUMBIA, S.C. — The mother of a woman shot outside a South Carolina courthouse said her daughter was ambushed by a former boyfriend who treated her poorly throughout their relationship and became furious because he would have to pay child support.
Curtis Gorny, who is charged with attempted murder, wasn't at Wednesday's hearing where he was ordered to start paying for his new daughter. Instead, he waited outside and fired on 21-year-old Olivia Weaver and her stepfather in a parking area of the Chesterfield County courthouse, said Weaver's mother, Jennifer Smith.
"He just ambushed her. It's by the grace of God that she's still alive," said Smith by telephone from her home in Cheraw where she was taking care of the 6-month-old girl at the center of the dispute.
Weaver was shot in the face and stomach. She is in intensive care at a Florence hospital, but is expected to survive. Her stepfather was shot in the arm and was released from the hospital Wednesday, Smith said.
Gorny, 57, will remain in jail after deciding Thursday to wait until all charges against him are filed before he has a bond hearing. He faces two counts of attempted murder, with more charges expected after investigators determine how many police officers he fired at during a 12-mile chase after the shooting, Chesterfield County Sheriff's Lt. Briana Davis said.
Davis did not know if Gorny, who arrived in court with a sling around his arm from injuries suffered when his truck crashed, has a lawyer. A phone listing for Gorny couldn't be found.
Smith said she didn't like when Gorny started dating her daughter. The 36-year difference in their ages was difficult enough, but Smith couldn't stand the way Gorny treated Weaver.
"It was kind of like she was sub-human, kind of like she was nobody important," Smith said.
Authorities said Gorny was violent toward Weaver before. He was charged with criminal domestic violence last year when he shoved Weaver while the two were discussing what to do about their new baby, deputies said. That charge is pending.
Weaver decided to leave Gorny while she was pregnant when he pushed her off a ladder as she climbed down from their loft bedroom, Smith said.
But her husband told her they had no warning Gorny was going to attack them Wednesday. They didn't see him before coming into the courthouse, and didn't know he was there until his pickup truck came around a corner, Smith said.
After the shooting, authorities said Gorny led police on a 12-mile chase, firing at officers before his tires were shredded and his truck ran into a ditch. Gorny came out of his truck swinging at officers before he was handcuffed, deputies said.
Davis said Chesterfield County deputies had dealt with Gorny before on minor matters, but nothing violent.
Smith said Gorny had a temper, but she was stunned when she was called Wednesday and told what happened at the courthouse.
"I thought he'd do something like get in a fistfight or throw rocks," Smith said. "I never saw him getting in a shootout."