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'Bad guys tried to kill our deputies' | Suspects shoot at South Carolina deputies, sheriff says

It all started with a bank robbery happened in northeast Richland County. It led to shots fired and a chase.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott said a group of bank robbery suspects tried to kill his officers by firing multiple shots them Thursday.

"The bad guys tried to kill two of our deputies," Lott said at a news conference several hours after the event. 

Richland County Sheriff's Department has arrested three men in connection with the bank robbery.  Devanta Boyd, 25, Devin Mincey, 25, and Daniel Williams, 19, were arrested. All three will be charged with two counts of attempted murder and bank robbery. Additional charges may follow.

Just after 11 a.m. Thursday, two suspects robbed the AllSouth Federal Credit Union at 1280 Roberts Branch Parkway. That's located in an area  just off the Killian Road exit on Interstate 77. 

After taking the money, the suspects drove off. But employees of the bank gave a good description of the vehicle, and two deputies in the area--Officers Chris Duke and Bryan McAdams--began pursuing the suspects' vehicle.

Eventually the suspects drove to the Heather Green Subdivision near Longleaf Middle School, and ended up at at cul-de-sac. At that point, Lott says the three suspects got out of the car and fired multiple shots at Duke and McAdams, who were still in the vehicle. 

"They're intent was to kill them," Lott said. "We're very fortunate that our deputies did not get killed today." 

Capt. Duke then fired shots back at the men, hitting one of them in the leg. The group, however, had a second getaway car waiting for them. They got into that vehicle and took off. 

Deputies chased the suspects from I-77 to Highway 277, and finally over to Wilson Boulevard. During the chase, Lott says other people were run off the road by the suspects. Finally, officers used a pit maneuver to force the suspects' car to crash.

"We had to stop this chase," Lott said. 

The suspect then ran a second time, the sheriff said, but deputies were able to catch them quickly. One of the suspects had gunshot wounds to his thigh and calf. Lott said the injuries are not serious. 

The officers were not injured, but Lott said a lot of rounds were fired at them. "There were shell casings all over the place where they started shooting," he said. 

Credit: Richland County Sheriff's Department
A vehicle showing some of the bullet holes after suspects fired at two Richland County deputies on August 15, 2019.

The stolen money and three pistols were found in the car, the sheriff said. Lott added that one of the suspect vehicles had been stolen out of Orangeburg. 

Longleaf Middle School was briefly placed on lockdown as a precaution, but Lott said there was never any danger to anyone at that location.