South Carolina police kill man suspected of wounding deputy

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — A man suspected of wounding a South Carolina sheriff’s deputy was shot and killed by police when he emerged from an apartment Thursday shooting at officers, Charleston’s police chief said.

The dead man, identified as 32-year-old Jerome Thomas Caldwell of Mount Pleasant, had earlier holed up for 10 hours in apartments in a public housing complex in Charleston’s historic district.

He was in phone contact with police and “during negotiations he made several statements that would indicate to us that he was intent on either harming someone else or himself,” Police Chief Greg Mullen told reporters during a news conference near the scene.

Mullen said the standoff began when a State Law Enforcement Division agent arrived at the apartment about 3:45 a.m. Thursday to serve Caldwell with a warrant for attempted murder.

The suspect was initially in one apartment, then entered a second after which he kicked in a wall to enter a third, Mullen said.

About 1:45 p.m. Caldwell came out of the back door of the apartment complex and shot at officers and they returned fire, the chief said.

Berkeley County Sheriff Butch Henerey said authorities received a tip last weekend and a subsequent DNA match led to the identification of Caldwell as suspect in the wounding of Berkeley County sheriff’s Lt. Will Rogers on May 14.

The sheriff would not discuss the details.

Police have said that Rogers was shot by a masked man at a gas station in Moncks Corner, about 30 miles from Charleston, as he talked to a customer and that the gunman fled in a carjacked vehicle.

The sheriff said that Rogers remained in critical but stable condition at the Medical University of South Carolina Hospital.

Mullen would not comment on whether there was any discussion during the negotiations about a motive for shooting the deputy. He said Caldwell was not known to law enforcement before the warrant was sworn out.

“We’re not going to talk about his record today. He doesn’t have much of a record,” the chief said.

The day after the deputy was shot, dozens of officers searched an area south of town near Cypress Gardens, a 170-acre garden and swamp that is a popular tourist attraction. The search was called off after a day when authorities said they thought the suspect had left the area.

On Tuesday, the wounded lieutenant’s daughter, Jaime Rogers Wyatt, issued a tearful plea for the public to come forward with information to help catch the shooter.

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