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South Carolina deputy accused of threatening to shoot crash victims and firing shot gun

The victims said they were unsure if Jason Erwin, who was dressed in shorts and a tank top and said to be acting erratically, was even a real officer.

MCCORMICK COUNTY, S.C. — A deputy in a South Carolina county is facing multiple serious charges and a state investigation following a crash on Wednesday.

According to the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED), 44-year-old Jason Erwin, a deputy with the McCormick County Sheriff's Office, has been arrested and charged with two counts of attempted murder and one of misconduct by a public officer.

Those charges follow a series of alleged actions by Erwin that, according to a probable cause affidavit, ended with him threatening to shoot two people and then actually firing a 12-gauge shotgun.

The misconduct affidavit said that, on Wednesday, Erwin was driving his marked patrol vehicle while intoxicated. It said that he admitted to being off-duty and that he represented himself as an officer despite allegedly drinking two alcoholic beverages prior to arriving and drinking from a flask of bourbon whiskey while at the scene of the crash on Highway 221 in Greenwood County.

That crash, according to the attempted murder affidavits, led to the victims in the other vehicle contacting 911 as they allegedly weren't sure Erwin, who was dressed in shorts and a tank top and said to be acting erratically, was even a real officer.

The affidavit states that Erwin put on a traffic vest and allegedly came toward the victims in an "aggressive manner." This led to the victims driving away from the scene while remaining on the phone with dispatchers.

At this point, the affidavit states Erwin began to ram their vehicle as they were attempting to pull over, having seen blue lights traveling north along Highway 221. 

Two other deputies, Bobby Power and Heather Campbell arrived and removed the victims from their vehicle. It was during this process that the affidavit states Power overheard Erwin state, "I'm going to shoot you," in an aggressive manner just before firing his 12-gauge Dickinson shotgun.

Agents with SLED took Erwin into custody on Friday and have since taken him to the McCormick County Detention Center for booking and then to the Greenwood County Detention Center to be held.

The case is being prosecuted by the 11th Circuit Solicitor's Office.

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