Man in traffic stop killed after firing first at Hanahan officers, police say
Hanahan — State Law Enforcement Division agents are investigating the death of a man killed in a barrage of gunfire as he attempted to flee from police late Monday night.
The Charleston County Coroner’s Office identified him as Travis Miller, 22, of Summerville. He died at the scene of multiple gunshot wounds.
Hanahan police said he was a passenger in a black BMW that led officers on a chase about 11:40 p.m.
An officer attempted to pull the vehicle over on Loftis and Yeamans Hall roads for having overly tinted windows, but the driver did not initially stop, Police Chief Mike Cochran said.
“There’s no such thing as a routine traffic stop. ... We make stops all day every day, but you never know what you’re dealing with,” Cochran said.
The vehicle evaded police on Remount Road in North Charleston before coming to a stop on Dakota Street a short distance away, Cochran said. Police approached the vehicle and smelled marijuana inside, he said.
Officers removed four occupants from the car and told them they were going to be patted down. That’s when a male passenger ran toward a nearby wooded area, Cochran said. The man fired at officers, and shots were returned, police said. A SWAT team found the man dead soon after.
SLED spokesman Thom Berry would not say how many shots were fired in the incident.
“Since we are early into the investigation and still collecting evidence and information, it would be inappropriate to discuss any specific details of the case,” Berry said in an email.
Dakota Street remained cordoned off with yellow tape Tuesday morning, as well as a nearby field toward the end of the road.
Cochran said that the officers involved were fortunate not to be wounded in the shootout. The driver of the car and two other passengers also were unhurt, but they each face charges, according to a news release from Hanahan police.
The driver, Robert Terrell Holmes, is charged with a window tint violation, disorderly conduct and simple possession of marijuana.
Passenger Denzel Jermaine Washington was wanted by Charleston County sheriff’s deputies for contempt of court and failure to appear in court on drug charges. He also is charged with disorderly conduct and simple possession of marijuana.
Brittany Nicole Fleck was wanted by North Charleston police for failure to appear in court on a marijuana charge. She also is charged with disorderly conduct and simple possession.
Their ages and addresses were not provided late Tuesday. They were simply described as being in their early to mid-20s.
Charges in connection with Monday’s incident will be processed in Berkeley County, police said. The county jail has no record of any bookings involving the suspects.
SLED is investigating the shooting, which is standard operating procedure in officer-involved shootings. Hanahan police are investigating the traffic stop.
Reach Christina Elmore at 937-5908 or at Twitter.com/celmorePC.