North Charleston police believe they have pulled a dangerous armed robber off the street — a man who brazenly held up a convenience store with a cop inside and who fired a shot at a clerk in another store.
Jerry Ernest Ballard, 29, of Hunters Ridge Road is charged with at least six robberies or attempted robberies since May 28.
Police believe Ballard is the man who held up the BP Kangaroo Express at 3689 Dorchester Road while Officer Kristen Jones was inside the store. A man entered the store shortly after midnight June 6 and pointed a black handgun at the clerk and Jones, according to the incident report. Jones dropped to one knee beside the clerk and fired a shot at the robber, who ran off empty-handed.
Police also believe Ballard fired a shot at a clerk at the Circle K at 3855 W. Montague Ave. just before 4 a.m. July 12. The robber in that case got mad when he didn’t think the clerk was moving fast enough to fill his duffel bag with cash from the register and fired a shot into the wall behind her, according to the incident report.
Altogether, police believe Ballard is responsible for robbing or attempting to rob at least six North Charleston stores in the last six weeks, according to spokesman Spencer Pryor. He is charged with three counts of armed robbery; three counts of attempted armed robbery; six counts of possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime; and one count of attempted murder.
Ballard is charged in the following incidents:
Armed robbery of the Circle K at 8410 Dorchester Road at 1:25 a.m. May 28.
Armed robbery of the Family Dollar at 5300 Rivers Ave. at 9:42 p.m. June 2.
Attempted armed robbery of the BP Kangaroo Express at 3689 Dorchester Road, with an officer inside, at 12:15 a.m. June 6.
Possible attempted armed robbery of the Li’l Cricket at 6901 Dorchester Road at 12:25 a.m. June 16.
Armed robbery of the Circle K at 8410 Dorchester Road at 4:59 a.m. July 1.
Armed robbery of the Circle K at 3855 W. Montague Ave., including a shot fired at the clerk, at 3:58 a.m. July 12.
Police believe Ballard also may be responsible for robberies in Charleston and Goose Creek, Pryor said.
North Charleston investigators are working with the two agencies to determine that. The investigation continues and additional arrests are possible
Ballard is expected to appear in Charleston County bond court at 2 p.m. today.
Reach Dave Munday at 937-5553 or twitter.com/dmunday.