RICHLAND COUNTY, S.C. — Richland County deputies have called off the search for the remaining suspects who bailed from a wrecked truck following a chase - but authorities have made one arrest after initially opening fire.
Sheriff Leon Lott said his deputies were investigating a series of drive-by shootings in the Audubon Oaks community when they learned around 3 p.m. on Friday that another shooting may soon happen.
"That community has lived in terror for the last couple of weeks and there's been well over 50 rounds fired in that neighborhood at a house," Sheriff Lott said.
Lott said the shootings, which are believed to be retaliation, targeted a person out on bond who is suspected of being involved in another shooting that recently happened on Bluff Road.
Deputies ended up in pursuit of a stolen truck out of Columbia believed to have been involved in the shootings. It ultimately wrecked in the area of Firetower Road and Western Lane just outside of Irmo.
The sheriff said preliminary details suggest three subjects got out of the truck and ran. But a responding investigator chased one of them into the woods. Investigators say that the suspect reached for a gun in his waistband at which point the pursuing deputy opened fire.
The suspect, identified as Darreun Miller, was not struck by the gunfire and was soon taken into custody. A manhunt ultimately continued for the other two suspects, during which a K-9 unit was brought out to assist in the search.
During this time, the sheriff's department urged residents in the area of Broad River Road near Western Lane and Kennerly Road to remain indoors. However, the search was eventually called off without the capture of the other suspects.
Sheriff Lott said that investigators believe these suspects have left the area. The investigation is now being handled by two teams with the sheriff's department. One team is handling the investigation of the discharge of a gun by a sheriff's office investigator. Another is continuing to investigate the shootings in the Audubon Oaks subdivision.
In the meantime, the sheriff said they are working to keep the neighborhood safe and put an end to the shootings there.
"Today is a result of us working together because we were able to stop it today before it went any further," Sheriff Lott said.