ORANGEBURG COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - Orangeburg County deputies are searching for three persons of interest believed to have stolen a vehicle and were later involved in a gunfight during a home invasion.
Sheriff Leroy Ravenell said a 2017 Jeep was stolen from a St. Matthews Road hotel late Monday and hotel security video shows three people on the property as the Jeep's owner, a West Virginia man, pulls up at the lobby. One of the three males in the video is seen to then enter the Jeep and speed off.
Then early Tuesday, a Cameron man called 911 after exchanging gunfire with someone who had broken into his home, deputies say.
The homeowner told deputies he was awakened by a noise at approximately 4:45 a.m. and then heard someone walking around inside his home.
As the man grabbed a firearm, he told deputies he saw an intruder inside his home walking toward his bedroom. Fearing for his safety, the man opened fire on the intruder, who turned to flee but not before firing back at the home owner, deputies say.
"These individuals need to be brought in before they hurt someone or worse," Ravenel said. "They've already demonstrated they don't care about life, including their own."
Evidence gathered at the man's home has led investigators to believe the theft of the Jeep and the home invasion are related, the sheriff said.
Anyone has any information on the trio or the location of the Jeep is asked to call the Orangeburg County Sheriff's Office at 803-534-3550 or Crimestoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC.