Police: Suspect in Summerville officer-involved shooting facing multiple charges

Taylor Johnson (Source: Summerville Police)
Taylor Johnson (Source: Summerville Police)

SUMMERVILLE, SC (WCSC) - The suspect in an officer-involved shooting in Summerville Wednesday morning faces multiple charges, police say.

Taylor Robert Johnson, 23, has been charged with two counts of attempted murder and additional charges are expected, according to Summerville Police Lt. Nick Santanna.

State Law Enforcement Division agents continue to gather information about the incident, which unfolded as an officer was making a traffic stop on West Richardson Avenue at approximately 9:45 a.m. Police say the driver hit the gas and tried to run over the officer, prompting the officer to fire at the driver. Police say the driver was hit in the arm.

Both Johnson and an officer were taken to a hospital after the incident for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries, authorities say.

The area of West Richardson Avenue and South Maple Street has been shut down as the investigation continues.

One witness, car dealer Raynard Smith, said the shooting was too close for comfort. He said he was helping a customer when the shooting began.

"I probably was about 20-30 steps away from what happened so I'm kind of terrified you know?" he said.

Smith said Summerville officers stopped a blue car and made the driver pull into a nearby driveway. He said the guy didn't stay long.

"I looked again and the car started backing up and the cops were like stop, stop, stop," Smith said. "There were two officers going toward the vehicle when he tried to pull off and they started firing shots at the car. At first, I heard five shots but when I looked at the ground there were like 18 to 19 bullets that are down, so I was like wow, something probably gonna hit me because I was so close that I saw gunfire coming from the guns."

Smith said that from his vantage point, the driver was not trying to run over the officers.

"What he was trying to do was run away," he said.

SLED is investigating, which is common for officer-involved shootings in the state. SLED agents have not responded to a request for comment on Smith's claims about what he saw.

Johnson is being held pending a bond hearing Thursday morning.