GOOSE CREEK — An off-duty Moncks Corner police officer was shot, but not seriously wounded, when he tried to chase a man who jumped out of a car after a head-on collision today on Liberty Hall Road, authorities said.
The collision itself may have been caused by a domestic dispute.
About 5:15 p.m., a 2007 Toyota being driven by a 24-year-old Washington, D.C. woman crossed the center line on Liberty Hall Road near Hooks Lane and collided head-on with a Chevy sport-utiltity vehicle being driven by a 32-year-old Goose Creek man, said Lance Cpl. Bob Beres of the S.C. Highway Patrol.
The woman came out of the driver’s side door of the Toyota and ended up being pinned under the SUV, Beres said.
“Something made her cross the center line,” Beres said. “And something made her come out of the driver’s side door.”
Beres said she may have been pushed out of the car, or she may have jumped out to get away from someone.
The woman suffered serious injuries and a helicopter transported her to Medical University Hospital, Beres said. The man driving the SUV was taken to Trident Medical Center. Information on their conditions was unavailable.
A man who was a passenger in the Toyota jumped out of the car and ran, Beres said.
A Moncks Corner officer who was off-duty happened to be in the area of the collision, said Dan Moon, a spokesman for the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office.
The officer chased the man who ran from the wreck, Moon said. “During the chase, the suspect turned and fired at the officer.”
Moncks Corner police Lt. Wendell Bowen identified the officer as Shane Judy. He said Judy was only grazed by a bullet that ricocheted off the ground when the suspect fired at him. Judy did not require medical treatment and he remained on the scene for much of the night to assist in apprehending the suspect, Bowen said.
Rush hour traffic in the area was slowed as roads in and around the area were blocked. Some people were prevented from returning to their homes.
Dozens of sheriff’s deputies, as well as police officers from Moncks Corner, Goose Greek, Hanahan and North Charleston searched a large area between Liberty Hall Road and Old Back River Road. A Charleston County sheriff’s helicopter circled overhead.
The suspect they were looking for was described as a black man, about 5 feet 8 inches to 5 feet 10 inches tall, with a muscular build. He had long dreadlocks and was wearing a red shirt and blue jeans, Moon said. The suspect was probably still armed, Moon said.
By 8 p.m., investigators had figured out who they were looking for, Moon said. Road blocks were lifted and normal traffic flow was restored. By 9:30 p.m., deputies had a man in custody and were questioning him at the Sheriff’s Office in Moncks Corner, Moon said.
The suspect’s identity was not released.
No charges were filed in the collision. Beres, the Highway Patrol spokesman, said investigators will try to determine what caused the woman to lose control of the car. The driver of the SUV was wearing a seat belt.