UPDATE 2:15 p.m. – The Charleston County Sheriff’s Office said the threat to the public was over and the suspect is deceased. Click here for details.

UPDATE 11:35 a.m. – The U.S. Marshals Service, in conjunction with local law enforcement and SLED, is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the capture of Ernest Burbage III.

Charleston County Sheriff Kristin Graziano said deputies believe Burbage is still in the Johns Island area. He is considered armed and dangerous.

“If you have a boat, a trailer, a camper, any out-building, an abandoned building, anything in your property that looks out of sort, please give us a call,” Graziano said. “He’s tired, he’s hungry, and he’s desperate.”

Anyone who sees an individual matching Burbage’s description or has information can call the CCSO tip line at (843)-529-3750.


JOHNS ISLAND, S.C. (WCBD) – Residents who live around Mary Ann Point Road on Johns Island are asked to continue sheltering in place and use caution as multiple law enforcement agencies search for a wanted shooting suspect.

The search for 38-year-old Ernest Burbage III stretched into a second day Thursday. It also prompted several Charleston County schools to close for the day out of an abundance of caution. He is wanted for attempted murder.

Officials with the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office initially responded to a reported shooting off Mary Ann Point Road and Chisolm Road around noon on Wednesday.

A victim was located and taken to the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC)  for treatment.

Multiple law enforcement agencies continued searching the area for Burbage. Just before 11:00 p.m., officials with the sheriff’s office said one of its deputies was shot during that manhunt and taken to MUSC for testing. 

Officials with the sheriff’s office later said that deputy, Master Deputy James Gilbreath, was shot in the head and is undergoing evaluation at the hospital. Gilbreath was working as part of SWAT’s tactical team at the time.

Sheriff Graziano said Gilbreath suffered non-life-threatening injuries and is expected to be released Thursday.

Burbage is described as a white male with green eyes and brown hair. He is 5’07” and 130 lbs.

The sheriff’s office said in a Thursday morning update that citizens around Mary Ann Point Road on Johns Island should “continue to exercise caution” as multiple law enforcement agencies continue the search for Burbage.

They ask that anyone who sees an individual matching Burbage’s description, please call the Charleston County Consolidated Dispatch Center at 9-1-1.

Burbage is considered armed and dangerous. Do not approach him if seen.