Crime & Courts

Deputies arrest man whose car is tied to shooting on grounds of Lexington hospital

Authorities on Thursday arrested a Lexington County man who was driving a car fitting the description of one involved in a shooting in the parking lot at Lexington Medical Center.

Stephen Johnson Craft, 38, was arrested by deputies on Beckham Road after a chase, the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department said in a news release. Craft was driving a vehicle matching the description of one tied to an officer-involved shooting on hospital grounds earlier in the day, according to the sheriff’s department.

The shooting happened after a confrontation between a hospital police officer and a driver, said Thom Berry of the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, which is investigating the incident.

The hospital officer fired at a man who then hit the officer with a car and fled from the emergency room side of the hospital, authorities said. The motorist was not wounded.

Hospital spokeswoman Jennifer Wilson said the officer was notified there were outstanding warrants on the man and approached him as he sat behind the wheel of a car. Craft was wanted on a grand larceny charge from an incident earlier this month, the Sheriff’s Department said.

The man drove off, striking the hospital officer, who fired shots, said Wilson, who declined to identify the officer. He was treated and released at the hospital, she said.

Wilson said there was no risk to visitors, patients or staff at the hospital, located on U.S. 378 near I-20.

SLED is investigating because the officer fired his weapon. Berry said the agency is not releasing the name of the suspect or providing details about the incident while it remains under investigation.

Staff writer Jane Moon Dial contributed.