YORK COUNTY, SC (WBTV) - The York County Sheriff’s Office K9-Unit and SWAT team responded to a home on Farrier Lane the night of January 15, 2018. In the early morning hours of January 16, K-9 handler Sgt. Randy Clinton was shot while tracking an armed man into the woods.
Six members of the Rock Hill SWAT team were called in to assist the Sheriff’s Office as they continued to search for the man after Sgt. Clinton was shot. Lt. Larry Vaughan, Lt. John Rainier, Lt. Carlos Culbreath, Lt. Jim Grayson, Officer Chris Rowe and Officer Arthur Philson were covering the perimeter on Paraham Road, but then heard several rounds of gunshots.
“I watched them get out of the truck and start maneuvering around the house,” Officer Rowe said. “It wasn’t 20 seconds until everything took place.”
“You could actually hear a couple of rounds crack over us, one actually hit the M-Wrap (military-style vehicle), ricocheted off,” Lt. Vaughan said.
When they heard a second round of shots, they rushed toward York County’s team and saw three of them had been gunned down.
“I saw Kyle, and Buddy was five feet to his right,” Lt. Rainier said. “Kyle was facing up, Buddy was face down.”
“I remember talking to Sgt. Brown, telling him everything was going to be alright,” Lt. Culbreath said. “It was just an adrenaline rush, I mean, I just wanted to get them some help because I’ve known Sgt. Brown for a long time.”
“Honestly when we flipped Buddy over, he almost looked like he was dead,” Lt. Rainier said. “But we later found out he had taken a round to the helmet.”
“Once I got out there I realized he [Detective Mike Doty] needed advanced medical care,” Officer Rowe said. “The best thing was to get him out of there. So we took his gear off, we ran him out.”
Meanwhile, Lt. Jim Grayson and several York County Sheriff’s deputies were tasked with getting the suspect out from underneath the deck.
“It was a unique situation... you know most times when you go in, the threat has been neutralized so to speak - but in this case it was really unique in that he wasn’t in handcuffs, he still had a long gun by his side,” Rowe said.
Lt. Grayson crawled beneath the deck, disarmed Christian McCall and brought him out. They say McCall refused to come out due to his injuries, he had also been shot that night.
One year later they say they won’t forget what happened that night, but add that York County deputies had it much worse.
“You see one of your guys getting carried out and then he dies two days later because he took a gunshot wound,” Lt. Rainier said, “...that’s going to affect everybody.”