MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCBD) – One person is dead Friday after firing at Berkeley County deputies following a pursuit that came to an end on the Wando River bridge along I-526.
Berkeley County Sheriff Duane Lewis said deputies became involved in the pursuit of a person who struck several vehicles and then fled the scene in the area of Highway 41 and US 17 around 11:30 a.m.
At the time, Sheriff Lewis said deputies were in the area trying to locate another suspect on an unrelated warrant when they observed the individual strike two vehicles in front of them and attempt to strike their vehicle.
The chase came to an end on the James B. Edwards Bridge, or the Wando River Bridge, where the suspect fired several shots at the deputies, who also returned fire.
Video courtesy Chris Ferguson
The suspect is deceased. They were later identified by the Berkeley County Coroner’s Office as 37-year-old Brent D. Conrad from Huger.
“Deputies had gotten out of their vehicles and were attempting to determine what was wrong with the person when they saw a firearm and then shots were fired,” said Sheriff Lewis during a news conference.
Sheriff Lewis said they do not have a motive or reason for the shooting. Deputies were not injured.
The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division was called in to investigate.
Westbound lanes of I-526 between Long Point Road and Daniel Island were shut down for hours because of the incident. Eastbound lanes were heavily restricted but were later reopened shortly before 3:30 p.m. Multiple agencies responded to help. All lanes have since reopened.
A witness who observed the chase and shooting said it was shocking to see the incident play out before him at the top of the Wando Bridge.
“As I was driving up 526 leaving Mount Pleasant, a gray truck came racing up behind me as it was being chased by the police and it passed me on my passenger side and ended up slamming into a semi-truck,” said Chris Ferguson. “After smashing into the side of the semi-truck, he got drug over to the side of the road and the police chased him. As soon as the truck stopped, they stopped and jumped out of their vehicles with guns drawn.”
Ferguson continued, “It wasn’t but maybe between five and 10 seconds after the police got out of the car that I heard about six shots fired from the police, I believe, toward the gray truck. Then afterward, police waited for backup to arrive. Then a group of them went into the driver’s side and removed the driver from the vehicle.”
Sheriff Lewis told News 2 that the deputies involved were a lieutenant supervisor and a detective with the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office who were riding together.
They will be placed on administrative leave pending an investigation, which is standard protocol.