South Carolina

Legal concealed carry gun owner subdues driver who hit others, York Co. sheriff says

Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated the victim held the suspect at gunpoint until a deputy arrived. The police report from the incident states that after the victim was struck by the suspect, the victim walked to another part of the parking lot at which point a deputy arrived on the scene.

A York County man who used his gun to subdue a driver accused of hitting cars, and pinning a person between them, with a truck outside a shopping plaza will not face criminal charges, York County Sheriff Kevin Tolson said.

The driver will be charged, Tolson said.

The incident happened around 6:45 p.m. Sunday in a business plaza parking lot at the corner of U.S. 21 and Regent Parkway near Fort Mill, according to Tolson and a sheriff’s office incident report.

A man in a truck rammed vehicles before one of the victims hit the man over the head with a gun before deputies arrived, according to a sheriff’s office report. The man was knocked to the ground where he was found by responding officers, Tolson said.

Tolson said the man with the gun was a victim in the case. His car was rammed while he was inside it, Tolson said.

The victim has a legal concealed carry permit, according to deputies.

“While I certainly don’t recommend anyone taking that type of action, after reviewing the evidence and having the solicitor’s office review the case, we will not be pursuing charges against the person with the gun,” Tolson said.

The driver of the truck will be charged with assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature and property damage crimes, Tolson said. The driver was taken to the hospital and remains at Piedmont Medical Center, according to Tolson and a sheriff’s office report. Detectives have arrest warrants for him, Tolson said.

“It is our intent to charge the suspect upon his release from the hospital,” Tolson said.

The call began with reports of a man with a gun in the parking area, the report stated.

Responding officers found a man holding a gun in the parking lot and ordered him to drop the weapon and get on the ground, the report stated. The man with the gun, later identified as a victim in the incident, complied with officer commands, deputies said.

Deputies then found another victim trapped between a pickup truck and another vehicle, deputies said. That victim was freed by officers, according to the report.

Then deputies found the suspect on his back in the parking lot, according to the report. Witnesses and victims told deputies the suspect slammed his truck into vehicles, injuring at least three people, according to Tolson and the report.

Vehicles were hit so hard that some were pushed onto a sidewalk, the report stated.

The driver then got out of his truck and began walking away, deputies said. The armed victim followed and hit the man in the head with the gun, the report stated.

The gun discharged when the suspect was hit in the head, but deputies did not report anyone being struck by a bullet.

Two people were taken to the hospital, including the suspect, according to the report.

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Andrew Dys covers breaking news and public safety for The Herald, where he has been a reporter and columnist since 2000. He has won 51 South Carolina Press Association awards for his coverage of crime, race, justice, and people. He is author of the book “Slice of Dys” and his work is in the U.S. Library of Congress.