Officials identify suspect in deadly Berkeley County shootout

Berkeley County News

BERKELEY COUNTY, SC (WCBD) – The Berkeley County Coroner’s Office has identified the now-deceased suspect involved Tuesday’s shootout with deputies.

Officials say 51-year-old Joseph Hart died Tuesday evening after a nearly 30-minute shootout with deputies in Huger.

Deputies say the incident began just before 3:30 p.m. Tuesday when a deputy responded to a disturbance call between two neighbors on Waterfowl Lane in Huger.

At the time, investigators believed the disturbance was related to a speeding issue in the neighborhood.

When the deputy arrived, the department said he observed the suspect’s vehicle speeding in the roadway and attempted to stop the vehicle. But the driver at that time took cover, pulled out a gun and started firing at the deputy.

Sheriff Duane Lewis says the deputy who was pinned down for 17 minutes behind his SUV spoke to the shooter to buy time for backup to arrive.

Multiple law enforcement agencies attempted to set up a perimeter to help the deputy escape from the scene, but the suspect continued to fire multiple rounds at the law enforcement officer.

Sheriff Duane Lewis said deputies tried negotiating with the suspect.

At one point during the incident, the suspect told authorities he was going to surrender, but as deputies got close, he fired again and the suspect was shot and killed.

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