Suspect arrested after shooting Tuesday afternoon in Swansea
Swansea, SC (Paul Kirby) – Deputies with the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department who were assisting the Swansea Police Department in an investigation into a shooting in the downtown area of the town took a man into custody for that crime Wednesday. The shooting occurred in the parking lot of the Swansea Bi-Rite within a block of the Swansea Town Hall, Police, and the Swansea Fire Department.
The shooting caused police officers to establish an area in the downtown that they had asked people to avoid Tuesday afternoon as their investigation began. The situation was just being sorted out and Chief Hayes said several hours after the crime was committed that they were in the early stages of the investigation and he had very little information to release.
Chief Hayes did say Tuesday evening that the first witnesses had described the shooter as a woman. A BOLO (be on the lookout) for that woman, a man, and a gray Nissan Altima was quickly broadcast across the region to all law enforcement agencies. Hayes said Tuesday that the pair in the car should be considered armed and dangerous.
Almost immediately after the shooting, Chief Hayes told other law enforcement officers that there would be video from the grocery store and the T.D. Bank’s video systems that might help in the investigation. That bank is within a short distance of the crime scene. Chief Hayes also requested that the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department assist his smaller agency in the investigation.
After reviewing all videos, physical evidence, and reviewing eyewitness statements, Lexington County’s investigators began focusing on the man who was in the getaway vehicle when it sped away from the scene. No agency has currently said if they are still focusing on locating a woman or anyone else who may have been involved in this crime.
Chief Hayes said in a telephone interview before noon Wednesday that investigators had quickly identified the shooter based on witness statements and other evidence. During that same interview Wednesday, Chief Hayes said that the shooter was not in custody, but he expected that a suspect would be arrested later in the day. “You can expect to hear more later this afternoon from the Sheriff’s Department,” Chief Hayes stated. “They are handling that release,” he continued.
Later Wednesday, the LCSD did release a statement saying that deputies had arrested Akeem Kantrell Mack, 34, of the Swansea area. He has been charged with attempted murder and possession of a weapon during a violent crime, according to arrest warrants.
Chief Hayes had said Tuesday afternoon that the suspect, now known to be Mack, had been involved in a verbal altercation with another person. Investigators later determined that Mack had retrieved a gun from the car and shot the man in the lower body. Chief Hayes said Wednesday morning that the victim’s wounds did not appear to be life-threatening.
Mack is being held in the Lexington County Detention Center after a magistrate judge set his bond at $45,000.
Chief Hayes said Wednesday that he appreciates the assistance that his department received from the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department and other surrounding departments. Hayes, a very experienced chief with 24 plus years of service, is an excellent investigator himself but knows that he and his small department have its limitations when dealing with a complicated crime scene. He had said many times before that the departments in the South Region of Lexington County have to maintain a good relationship with each other because they are invaluable to each other when things begin to happen quickly.