Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Columbia police have taken a suspect into custody in connection with a standoff inside a pharmacy Saturday morning.
Police say the man, identified as Gregg Hiers, 58, was arrested just before 2 p.m. Police say he'll be charged with communicating a threat with a weapon of mass destruction and armed robbery.
Officers were engaged in a standoff for over two hours with the Hiers inside the Rite Aid pharmacy on Harden Street in Columbia's Five Points. Officers say Hiers told an employee of the store that he had an explosive device inside a bag.
Columbia police's SWAT team, bomb squad, and the Columbia Fire Department all then responded to the scene.
Investigators say they believe Hiers never had a device. When S.W.A.T. team members went inside the store, they say they found him passed out.
Because of his condition, he was transported to the hospital for treatment. He'll be taken to jail once he's discharged.
According to officers, Hiers is homeless and is someone they have dealt with in the past. During the standoff, an employees and customers were outside, leaving Hiers as the only person inside the store.
There were no reported injuries.
Stores across from and next to the Rite Aid were evacuated, and streets surrounding the store were shut down. All streets have since reopened. People were kept back several hundred feet from where the situation was playing out.