Swansea, SC (Paul Kirby) – The Swansea Police Department is investigating a shooting which occurred between 2:30 and 3:00 p.m. Tuesday afternoon in the downtown area of the southern Lexington County town. Officers flooded into the area near the Bi-Rite and the TD Bank as Swansea officers requested assistance from other agencies across the region. The shooting occurred within a few blocks of the Swansea Town Hall and the Swansea Police Department.
Tuesday afternoon and into Wednesday morning, there was still very little information available as officers continued to piece together exactly what happened.
Almost immediately after the shooting, officers began looking for a gray, four-door Nissan Altima with heavy right-front quarter panel damage. The driver was thought to be a black female wearing blue jeans who was said to be the shooter. Police said she should be considered armed and dangerous. There was also a male passenger in the vehicle with her at the time of the shooting. As of this writing, Swansea Police Chief Cliff Hayes had not provided a detailed description of him.
Tuesday afternoon, police officers under the direction of Chief Hayes were asking people to avoid the downtown area. This was any of the areas north of US Hwy. 321 south over to South Springs Street at Swansea Milling Company. Their safety zone began about West 1st Street and continued south over to West 5th Street in Swansea. There were multiple police units on the scene. There were also multiple law enforcement officers in that area and others patrolling further out into the county searching for the suspects and the vehicle that involved. There was at least one traffic stop made on a Nissan out in the county but that didn’t pan out.
Police Chief Cliff Hayes arrived on the scene very quickly after this incident occurred. Chief Hayes said about 5:30 p.m. Tuesday afternoon that they were still in the very early stages of their investigation however, he did know that there was an altercation between several people just before the shot was fired. That altercation eventually escalated to a point that the female produced a weapon and fired injuring one person. Chief Hayes said it appeared as if the shooting victim did not have a life-threatening injury.
Police warned that citizens of Lexington, Calhoun, and Orangeburg Counties should not try to take any action or intercede if the suspect's vehicle was spotted. It was last seen turning onto Highway 321 south and a BOLO (be on the lookout) was broadcast to all surrounding law enforcement agencies. All three of these counties come together in the general area of Swansea.
Chief Hayes also warned that if anyone came into contact with the suspect, or someone claiming to be the suspect, or encountered the suspect’s vehicle to immediately leave the area and call 911. Chief Hayes said Tuesday that both occupants of the Nissan should be considered armed and dangerous.
We will update this story as we receive more information.