Bank robbery suspects fire on deputies after chase
A deputy ducks in his police cruiser and calls out “Shots Fired! Shots Fired!” over the radio as bank robbery suspects shoot at him and his partner, a video released by the Richland sheriff’s department shows.
Friday, Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott said he can’t think of another profession where life can turn to death so quickly. But on Thursday, his department was lucky, he said. Neither of the deputies who were shot at were hurt.
A suspect, Devanta Boyd, 26, who fired on the deputies is a convicted felon, said Lott, who pointed out that Boyd was released after serving 85 percent of his sentence. The other two suspects, Devin Mincey, 26, and Daniel Williams, 19, have minor criminal records.
The three are jailed at Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center where a judge denied bond to Boyd and Williams while Mincey awaits a hearing, records show.
At a midday Friday news conference, the guns used against the deputies were displayed — guns that are made for death, not protection, Lott said. The suspects used a Taurus pistol and a Glock handgun with an extended clip and a Mac 11 machine pistol, the preferred gun of 1980s drug cartels, Lott said.
“It’s a pray and spray,” Lott said. “It’s not accurate at all.”
The Taurus handgun was stolen from a house in Lexington during a home invasion in which the owner was shot, Lott said. Investigators are tracking the origins of the other two guns.
All three suspects are charged with attempted murder, kidnapping and armed robbery after they burst into an AllSouth Federal Credit Union clad in masks with guns drawn and later led police on a 30-minute chase in northeast Columbia, according to the Richland County Sheriff’s Department. Police found a bag of stolen money in one of the getaway cars.
Police charged Boyd with a third count of attempted murder after he forced a driver to wreck during the police chase, Lott said. Investigators are speaking with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms as well as the United State’s Attorney’s Office about other charges.
“We’re going to pile everything we can on (Boyd),” Lott said.
Boyd “is part of that 5 percent committing 85 percent of our crime,” Lott said. “That 5 percent needs to be locked up and kept locked up.”
Boyd told investigators he was carjacked and forced into the robbery, but he shot at deputies with the other two suspects, Lott said.
In 2014 Boyd, from Columbia, pleaded guilty to charges of attempted murder after he shot someone, carjacking, armed robbery and a gun offense, Lott said. A judge sentenced him to more than seven years imprisonment. Boyd served 85 percent of that sentence and was released in November 2018 on community supervision, according to Peter O’Boyle, a spokesperson for the South Carolina Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services.
The state Department of Corrections said state law determined that Boyd be released after serving 85 percent of his sentence.
The dash camera footage came from the police car of Deputy Ryan MacAdams. He was calm and followed his training as he chased suspects through the Heather Green neighborhood and backed them into a cul-de-sac, Lott said, saying MacAdams’ actions produced a “perfect training video.”
Captain Chris Duke was in another police car near MacAdams when the firing started. Duke returned fired. Williams, one of the suspects, was hit by Duke’s bullets in the thigh and calf. MacAdams got a rifle and body armor from his trunk as the suspects fled.
“Any cop that tells you they’re not scared, they’re lying to you,” Lott said. “There’s a difference between being scared and being chicken. Scared just makes you cautious but you can still do your job. When you’re chicken, you can’t perform. They weren’t chicken.”
Despite the wound, Williams and his partners ran through a person’s yard to another street where they had stashed another getaway car. After a second chase, a deputy spun out the suspects’ vehicle, wrecking them on the 9400 block of Wilson Boulevard.
Lott showed up at the scene where the chase ended. The sheriff talked to the suspects, he said. When asked what that conversation was about, Lott said, he’s still a cop so he asked them where they’re from. Williams is from Mullins, Lott said.
But more than where they’re from, Lott’s concerned about where they’re going.
“We need to stop feeling sorry for some of these people and put their butts where they need to be and that’s in prison and keep them there,” Lott said. “If we don’t, we’re not going to be lucky next time when they’re out here shooting at deputies and police officers.”