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Southern Lexington County residents startled by SLED agent’s response to Barnwell standoff

Swansea, SC (Paul Kirby) – The residents of the Gaston and Swansea communities made call after call to The Lexington Ledger, friends, and family after seeing a parade of unmarked patrol cars, armored vehicles, and other specialized equipment speed through their communities Monday afternoon. Most were simply worried something terrible had happened or was ongoing in their towns. As it turned out, they had nothing to fear in their area other than getting in the way of the fast-moving law enforcement officers.

What all the callers saw were SLED agents responding to a call for help in Barnwell County. A young man had barricaded himself in an apartment after firing at police officers.

According to, residents of Litchfield Apartments were blocked out of their neighborhood for hours during the standoff between law enforcement and a suspect wanted for attempted murder. WRDW News said the Barnwell County Sheriff's Office and SLED were trying to issue a warrant to 22-year-old Aaron Brooker, who was wanted for two counts of attempted murder in Allendale.

According to their website, law enforcement made contact with the suspect, and shots were fired at law enforcement officers by the young man. Brooker then barricaded himself in an apartment. After nearly two hours of negotiation, officers sent a robot inside and found Brooker dead in an upstairs bedroom.

A captain with the Aiken County Sheriff's Office said they will be taking the lead on the investigation because SLED and Barnwell County deputies were involved, according to WRDW. He said the officers involved will be placed on some sort of leave.

The vehicles Lexington County residents saw were all headed to that stand-off. Although it was an impressive show of force, it really was enough to have people in our county scared something terrible had happened near them.

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