KERSHAW COUNTY, SC — A man accused of shooting at Kershaw County deputies late Thursday night has been arrested.
Kershaw County deputies tracked down 25-year-old Earnest Maurice Allen about 3:15 p.m. Friday after the man allegedly fired four shots at deputies during a traffic stop Thursday night on Precipice Road, south of Camden. He will be charged with possession of a handgun during the commission of a violent crime and four counts of attempted murder, Kershaw County Sheriff Jim Matthews said.
Officers looking for Allen, a fugitive, tried to stop a minivan thought to be driven by the man, Matthews said. The van’s driver jumped out brandishing a .38-caliber pistol. He emptied his weapon, firing four shots at deputies, but didn’t hit the officers. They fired back at the man, but it’s unknown if he was struck by bullets. The man then ran into the wooded area, and a foot search ensued.
Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office bloodhounds were brought to the scene to find the suspect, but the trail went cold after the dogs found the suspect’s gun in the woods near the site of the traffic stop.
A second bloodhound team was brought in by the State Law Enforcement Division. Those dogs also lost the suspect’s scent, however, and the search was called off about 11:30 p.m. Lee County deputies, too, joined the search Friday morning.
Kershaw deputies arrested Allen after he tried to again run from police in a shed in a rural area near Red Hill. He had nearly $800 and several ounces of marijuana with him at the time of his arrest.
Allen was already wanted for failure to stop for blue lights, possession of marijuana and child endangerment for jumping out of a moving car that had a woman and child passengers during a traffic stop in October.
Allen was let out of jail on bond Thursday, deputies say. Officers tried to charge him in April on eight counts of crack cocaine distribution, but he fled to Miami. He was recently arrested by Florida authorities and extradited to Kershaw County, but was released from jail.
“It is more than slightly irritating that Allen, with his extensive arrest record, who fled to Miami upon hearing that he was about to be arrested, would be given such a low bond following his capture and return to Kershaw County,” Kershaw Sheriff Matthews said.