Man charged in carjackings

Lonnie Hazleton

A man who carjacked a vehicle in McClellanville on Friday night drove it into a dead-end street and had to drive back past the car's owner and a sheriff's deputy to get the stolen vehicle out of town, authorities said.

Lonnie Lamar Hazleton, 27, of Vanderbrook Place in North Charleston, is charged with carjacking, two counts of attempted murder and one count of possession of a firearm during the commission of a violent crime. He was being held in the Charleston County jail pending a bond hearing, sheriff's Capt. Eric Watson said in a news release Saturday.

More charges are expected to be filed in Berkeley County.

No one was injured when deputies and the suspect exchanged gunfire in the McClellanville area, Watson said.

The incident began Friday evening in Berkeley County, where a car was hijacked and a chase began that crossed into Charleston County, Watson said. The car apparently was taken from within the town limits of Jamestown, said Berkeley County sheriff's spokesman Dan Moon. Jamestown officials could not be reached for comment Saturday night.

Shortly after 8 p.m., Charleston County deputies were dispatched to a reported carjacking in McClellanville.

A man told deputies he had been driving his vehicle when someone drove up beside him and fired several gunshots. That driver then pulled in front of his vehicle and ordered the man to get out, Watson said.

The gunman jumped into the vehicle and began traveling toward the dead end of Pinckney Street in McClellanville.

While the deputy was on the scene taking a report, the suspect came back down Pinckney Street in the victim's car.

The deputy tried to stop the vehicle, but the suspect increased his speed and tried to run over the deputy. The suspect fired several shots in the direction of the deputy and the victim, Watson said. The deputy returned fire, but the suspect drove off, heading north on U.S. Highway 17 into Georgetown County, where he crashed and was apprehended by Georgetown County deputies.

Watson said the suspect was treated by EMS for minor injuries from his two crashes.

On Friday night, Watson said that because the incident crossed many jurisdictions, and because deputies exchanged gunfire with the suspect, the State Law Enforcement Division was asked to investigate.