CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Authorities said a man was injured during an exchange of gunfire with police officers at a West Ashley apartment complex after intimidating his neighbors with a semi-automatic rifle Wednesday morning.
The investigation started at 11:01 a.m. when officers responded to the Colonial Grand at Cypress Cove Apartments on 3590 Mary Ader Ave. for a man armed with a semi-automatic rifle intimidating his neighbors.
When officers arrived at the complex they reported hearing a single gunshot, then established a perimeter to ensure the safety of the other residents. CPD officials said they also requested additional units including crisis negotiators in an attempt to deescalate the situation.
According to a report, when the Special Operations Division officers arrived and took over the perimeter, shots were exchanged with the man.
The 25-year-old man involved in the incident was transported to MUSC. No one else was injured.
“This is our third, not first, not second, but our third armed confrontation with a violent criminal offender who was armed with a weapon firing at our officers,” Police Chief Luther Reynolds said.
It was the third such incident in just more than two months.
“We are very fortunate that nobody was injured, other than the suspect, no officers, no residents, no community members were injured in this incident which easily could have happened,” Reynolds said. “I’m thankful nobody else was killed or injured in this event.”
Reynolds held a press conference on Wednesday afternoon and gave some details into the incident. Dispatchers received a call from someone at the apartment complex reporting a man harassing neighbors who was armed with a long gun and a rifle, Reynolds said.
Officers arrived on the scene within minutes and established a perimeter. Officers called in additional resources including the negotiations team and other assets from the Special Operations Division.
A short time later, Reynolds said, shots were fired.
“At some point shots were exchanged with this subject, who was firing his rifle,” he said. “The same subject was identified by the complaintant who called 911 in the first place.”
The State Law Enforcement Division, which normally is called in to investigate shootings involving law enforcement officers, will be investigating, spokesman Tommy Crosby said.
Reynolds praised his officers and their handling of the situation.
“Our officers in all three of these incidents have not only not hesitated, but they’ve sprinted towards the sound of gunshots. They sprinted towards the call for a threat. They sprinted and responded quickly without any hesitation to help our citizens who were afraid, and who called the police,” Reynolds said. “Our job is to protect our communities. It’s to save lives. It’s to help people. And I’m thankful today. Once again, that’s exactly what our officers did.”
Reynolds did not take questions from reporters at the news conference Wednesday but said he planned to provide more information on the incident Thursday. A press briefing is scheduled for Thursday afternoon.
Police have not yet released the identity of the person in custody or the specific charges he will face.