Man accused of firing shots at deputy, carjacking found not guilty

CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - A 28-year-old man accused of a carjacking and firing gunshots at a deputy was found not guilty by reason of insanity on Tuesday.

The Charleston County Sheriff's Office arrested Lonnie Hazelton in December of 2011 and charged him attempted murder charges, carjacking and possession of a firearm during a violent crime.

Investigators say it all started on Dec. 2, 2011 in Jamestown where Hazelton stole a woman's van and headed towards Charleston County.

According to investigators, Hazelton then hijacked a car around 8 p.m. in McClellanville near Highway 17. The victim told deputies that Hazelton pulled up beside his vehicle and fired several gunshots. Hazelton then pulled his car in front of the victim, ordered him out of the car and took the vehicle, authorities say.

When a deputy arrived at the scene and spoke to the victim, he noticed Hazelton driving down Pinckney Street toward him. Authorities say the deputy tried to get Hazelton to stop the car, but instead, Hazelton sped up trying to run the deputy over while firing gunshots at both the victim and deputy.

The deputy fired back at the suspect, but Hazelton continued south on Highway 17 towards Georgetown County, according to authorities.

Georgetown County deputies say they then came in contact with Hazelton when he drove into the southbound lane of Highway 17 and almost collided with a deputy before crashing into the woods. The sheriff's office says when the deputy turned his vehicle around, Hazelton was in the middle of the road with a handgun on the pavement behind him.

The deputy then ordered Hazelton to the ground and took him into custody.

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