South Carolina congressman confronted by woman with gun, police say

Reuters News
Posted: Sep 10, 2012 5:16 PM
South Carolina congressman confronted by woman with gun, police say

By Harriet McLeod

CHARLESTON, South Carolina (Reuters) - Representative Trey Gowdy of South Carolina was confronted by a woman with a gun in a parking lot over the weekend who then chased after his car on foot, the congressman's office and police said on Monday.

Gowdy, who was not injured, said he was waiting for his teenage daughter on Sunday in a church parking lot in Spartanburg, an area he has represented in Congress since being elected in 2010, when the woman walked up to his car and told him to stop following her, a police report showed. Police said it appeared the woman did not know Gowdy was a congressman.

Gowdy, a Republican, told the woman he was not following her and was in the lot to pick up his relative, Gowdy spokesman Josh Dix said on Monday.

Dix said the woman then flashed a weapon at Gowdy, who put his car in reverse, backed away quickly and drove a few blocks to report the incident to police.

Spartanburg police arrested Gloria Yvonne Brackett, 52, a South Carolina native who now lives in Atlanta on charges of unlawfully carrying a pistol and presenting and pointing a firearm. Police said they found a loaded semi-automatic handgun and a box of bullets in her purse.

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The FBI and the U.S. Attorney's Office were investigating on Monday to determine whether additional charges were warranted, according to A. Tony Fisher, director of the Spartanburg Public Safety Department.

"It doesn't appear that they ever knew each other," Dix said of Brackett and Gowdy.

Gowdy's congressional office has received threats in the past, but they were tied to his previous work as a prosecutor, Dix said.

(Editing by Colleen Jenkins, Cynthia Johnston and Peter Cooney)