A man is charged with killing a police dog, and at least two other suspects were being sought Wednesday night after a carjacking led to a manhunt involving more than 100 officers, authorities said.
Sergio Montez Martin, 23, was charged with attempted murder and shooting a police K-9 in connection to a carjacking that happened Wednesday afternoon, according to jail records and the Anderson County Sheriff's Office.
Sheriff's Office Lt. Sheila Cole said a woman reported the carjacking about 1 p.m. at the Dollar General on State 24 in Townville.
Deputies later confronted the suspects after stopping the stolen vehicle about 10 miles away on New Prospect Church Road in Anderson, Sheriff John Skipper said.
"We set the dog on one of the suspects because he was acting erratic, and the suspect shot our dog," Skipper said.
The suspects then fled on foot, abandoning the stolen car.
Hyco was taken to a veterinary hospital, where he died from his injuries, Cole said. The K-9 had been with the department for six years.
Multiple schools, including Lakeside Middle, New Prospect Elementary and Westside High, were placed on lockdown as deputies in tactical vests and high-powered rifles attempted to flush out the suspects.
One suspect has since been apprehended, but authorities haven't determined how many more were at large. At least one suspect may be wearing camouflage.
"We could be looking for two, maybe three people," Cole said.
Two private schools — Temple Baptist and Oakwood Christian — were also placed on lockdown.
Deputies and administrators escorted students to cars and buses under a supervised release at the three Anderson District 5 schools, said district spokesman Kyle Newton.
There were some traffic delays due to the large police presence, but "everybody's on the road and heading home," Newton said.
More than 100 officers were still combing the woods around Anderson Regional Airport at 6 p.m. Wednesday.
Greenville County and Simpsonville police assisted in the search with their K-9 units, Skipper said.
He encouraged area residents to stay put and to call 911 to report any suspicious activity.
News of Hyco's death spread quickly among law enforcement Wednesday as agencies took to social media to express their condolences.
"Rest in peace HYCO. You paid the ultimate sacrifice," city of Anderson police said in a Facebook post.
Greenville police said: "Our thoughts and prayers go out to the handler and department."
North Richland Hills police in Texas added: "Prayers to Anderson Co (SC) SO for the loss of one of their own...Rest easy buddy."
Hyco, a 7-year-old German Shepherd, was a decorated K-9 at the Sheriff's Office, having netted more than 100 arrests over his career, Skipper said.
His handler was Deputy Brandon Surratt.