BCSO: Man set house on fire before heading into Cane Bay woods

Suicidal subject sought in Cane Bay area in custody

SUMMERVILLE, SC (WCSC) - Berkeley County authorities say a 33-year-old man who prompted deputies to set up a perimeter at a neighborhood in the Cane Bay area had set fire to a home in Moncks Corner before traveling to Summerville and arming himself with a rifle.

The Berkeley County Sheriff's Office says Daniel Brooks Ward faces charges of third-degree arson and criminal domestic violence.

Investigators say the whole incident started on Monday when Ward was initially charged with public disorderly conduct following a disturbance at his home on Lankford Street in Moncks Corner.

According to BCSO officials, Ward allegedly made threatening phone calls to his wife, returned to the home, set the residence on fire and fled the scene with several firearms from his home.

Detectives reported that Ward then drove to a relative's home on Ward Lane in Summerville where he got into a physical fight with relatives after threatening to harm himself.

In the process of relatives trying to disarm Ward, a rifle Ward was allegedly carrying was discharged at least two times, according to a report by the sheriff's office.

Michael Mule with the Berkeley County Sheriff's Office says Ward managed to flee into a nearby wooded area with a high-powered rifle, and a manhunt ensued.

A perimeter was set around Ward Lane, Irby Drive, McLaurin Avenue and State Road by the Berkeley County Sheriff's Office. Deputies were also seen patrolling the area armed with assault rifles.

Authorities were telling anyone in the vicinity to lock all doors, not open doors for anyone, and to stay in their homes.

Operations Major Anthony Phyall said that a reverse 911 alert was quickly sent out to advise residents in the affected area to use caution and remain indoors. 

As a precaution, several schools located in the Cane Bay subdivision were on lockdown and sporting events planned for that evening were cancelled.

After several hours of searching, Ward surrendered to deputies and was transported to the Hill-Finklea Detention Center. He's scheduled for a bond hearing Tuesday night.

Multiple agencies assisted the Berkeley County Sheriff's Office in the investigation and search.

Participating agencies in the investigation and/or manhunt included the Charleston County Sheriff's Office Aviation and K-9 Units, officers with the SC Department of Natural Resources, the SLED Arson Investigation and Arson K-9 Units and members of the U.S. Marshal's Fugitive Apprehension Task Force.

"This is another example of local law enforcement agencies working together to quickly resolve a situation which put our community in jeopardy," said Captain Bobby Shuler of the Berkeley County Sheriff's Office.

Copyright 2015 WCSC. All rights reserved.