A man from Colleton County, South Carolina shot his 17-year-old cousin in the chest on September 29 after warning him not to eat all of his salt-and-vinegar potato chips. Nineteen-year-old Ryan Dean Langdale has been charged with attempted murder and the use of a firearm in a violent crime for the shooting itself and obstructing justice for some of his actions following the shooting. He reported the shooting himself but told authorities it was accidental and had been committed by his cousin. He told deputies that his cousin had dropped the hunting rifle while cleaning it. His cousin confirmed Langdale’s account of what happened before heading into surgery, but investigators found that evidence did not align with the description of the incident as provided by the two involved.
Major J.W. Chapman said their description of the incident didn’t make sense from the beginning and that it became more implausible as the investigation went on according to the Post and Courier. One basic piece of evidence is the path taken by the bullet, which investigators say would be impossible if the 17-year-old had accidentally shot himself. Upon waking from surgery a week later at the Trident Medical Center in North Charleston, the boy changed his story, saying Langdale had shot him on purpose and that he had done so over an argument about salt-and-vinegar potato chips. He said he had not told investigators what really happened initially because Langdale had pressured him into not telling police what had really taken place that day.
A Colleton County man shot his cousin after warning the relative not to eat his salt and vinegar potato chips.
The victim insisted that he never actually ate the chips.https://t.co/OnHHYv5qTU
— The Post and Courier (@postandcourier) October 12, 2018
The cousin of the alleged shooter said that Langdale threatened him, saying, “Do not touch my chips, or I’ll shoot you” then left the room. When he returned, he was holding a rifle, which he proceeded to point at him. “The next thing he knew, the rifle went off” according to court records. This account does line up with the evidence according to investigators.
Another move that resulted in the charge of obstruction of justice involved the rifle used in the alleged crime. Langdale switched out the rifle actually used with another one to try to cover up what really happened, but police found the rifle that was actually used when they conducted a search of the home Monday. Wednesday, Langdale surrendered, and a judge set bail at $55,000.
Langdale’s cousin said he never ate any of the salt-and-vinegar potato chips. Major Chapman added that salt-and-vinegar potato chips are not a rare commodity in Colleton County.