NEWBERRY COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) – Police say five people were taken hostage Wednesday at a rehabilitation center in Newberry.
According to the Newberry Police Department, officers responded to South Carolina Vocational Rehabilitation Center shortly after 1:00pm for a report that an armed man had entered the building and had taken hostages.
While officers were headed to the scene, they were told that the suspect fired a shot into the ceiling of the building.
Once on scene, police say two employees were able to escape through a back door.
Two other employees were able to get out of the building while negotiations were happening, police said.
After an hour of negotiations with police and South Carolina Law Enforcement Division’s SWAT team, the final hostage was released and the suspect was taken into custody.
Police say the suspect, 41-year-old Ricky Bernard Brown, has been charged with five counts of kidnapping, pointing and presenting a firearm, discharging a firearm within city limits, resisting arrest, possession of a weapon during a violent crime, and possession of a weapon by a convicted felon.
“I’m thankful that none of the hostages were injured during the incident,” said Newberry Police Chief Roy McClurkin. “I appreciate the assistance of the Newberry County Sheriff’s Office and the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division.”
Police said Brown fired multiple shots during the incident.