Cypress Gardens closed by search for suspect in deputy shooting

A helicopter is also involved in the search for the gunman. (Photo Source: Live 5)
A helicopter is also involved in the search for the gunman. (Photo Source: Live 5)

Cypress Gardens is closed until further notice while deputies search for a gunman that wounded one of their own.

SLED and other agencies are assisting the Berkeley County Sheriff's Office in the search for a shooting suspect who wrecked a stolen SUV in the woods at the end of Cypress Garden Road, according to Interim Sheriff Butch Henerey.

As of approximately 10:45 a.m. Friday, Henerey said he expected the search could take several hours.

Berkeley County Sheriff's Lt. Will Rogers is out of surgery, and in critical but stable condition after suffering multiple gunshot wounds late Thursday night, an MUSC spokesperson confirmed.

Rogers was airlifted to MUSC at approximately 11:30 p.m. Thursday and rushed into emergency surgery after he was shot multiple times by a masked suspect in Moncks Corner.

The hospital spokesperson said Rogers was out of surgery and had been moved to intensive care just after 7 a.m.

Agents from the South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division and the Moncks Corner Police Department is assisting deputies in searching for the gunman. North Charleston police are also assisting.

Rogers is a night shift supervisor who has more than 25 years of experience in law enforcement. In April, he was a GOP candidate for Berkeley County sheriff in the Republican primary. One of the North Charleston officers assisting in the search is Lt. Brian Adams, who ran against Rogers in the primary.

Henerey said Rogers pulled into an Exxon gas station at Old Highway 52 and Cypress Gardens Road around 10:30 p.m. and as he was talking to a customer in the parking lot, the masked suspect came around a corner and shot Rogers from behind.

Following the shooting, investigators say the suspect carjacked a black Hyundai Santa Fe and took off. Officers found the vehicle around 12:25 a.m., wrecked in a ditch in the area of Cypress Gardens Road, but no word on the driver.

Video of the carjacking is expected to be released Friday morning.

The suspect is considered armed and dangerous. Authorities describe him as being between 5'10" - 6'4" tall, up to 225 pounds, wearing a mask, white long sleeved shirt, and gray sweat pants with a white stripe. He was carrying a maroon/red silk sack.

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