BEAUFORT COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - Investigators say three Charleston area men and two other people were arrested for a violent armed home invasion in Beaufort County.
The Beaufort County Sheriff's Office charged 23-year-old Jamin Jamal Anderson of Charleston, 23-year-old Robert Lee Lane of North Charleston, 23-year-old Michael Eugene Hawkins of Charleston, 24-year-old Eric Wendell Mack of St. Helena and 25-year-old Veronica Ruby Mack also of St. Helena with first-degree burglary, kidnapping, high and aggravated assault and battery and criminal conspiracy.
At 4 a.m. on Monday, deputies responded to a home on Dulamo Bluff Road for a report of a home invasion that happened not too long ago. A 24-year-old man and his 51-year-old mother told deputies that five suspects armed with handguns and an assault rifle had broken into their home.
The victims say the suspects restrained them with duct tape. Deputies say at one point, the man was pistol-whipped on the head. The man was later taken to Beaufort Memorial for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries.
The suspects stole a TV and cell phone from the home and then left the home in the woman's van, which they quickly abandoned several houses away, according to the sheriff's office.
The man and his mother were able to identify one of the attackers as a family member. The sheriff's office says that Veronica Ruby Mack is the stepdaughter of the female victim and stepsister to the male victim.
The victims also provided deputies with a description of the vehicle the suspects were believed to be riding in. The description of a gray Ford van went out to authorities and was spotted by a Beaufort police officer on Carteret Street. As officers tried to pull the van over on Carteret at Duke Street, the driver quickly took off and led officers on a chase, investigators say.
Deputies took over the chase as the van approached the Marine Corps Air Station and continued on to US 17 and Kinlock Road. Authorities say two suspects bailed out of the van and three others were apprehended from the vehicle.
An incident report states that during the chase, an AK-47 was thrown from the van and was recovered. Authorities recovered two pistols and the stolen tv from the van. Members of the sheriff's office K9 tracking team responded and a manhunt was launched for the other suspects who were later apprehended.
Several residents reported seeing suspicious persons in the area of the cemetery on Bull Corner Road where one of the suspects was found and taken into custody.
Investigators say more charges may be pending as the investigation continues.