SUMMERVILLE, SC (WCSC) - On the same day the Berkeley County deputy wounded early Friday morning was released from the hospital, news came that the man accused in the shooting was charged with three counts of attempted murder.
Deputy Cody Gooch was released from Trident Hospital Saturday, according to Berkeley County Chief Deputy Mike Cochran.
The man accused of shooting Gooch and firing at two other deputies, Calvin Lorenzo Middleton, 31, faces three charges of attempted murder, according to South Carolina Law Enforcement Division spokesman Thom Berry.
"Yesterday we witnessed some of the meanness that exists in society but we prevailed," Berkeley County Sheriff Duane Lewis said. "Deputy Gooch was doing his job when someone tried to take his life and we are ever so grateful and blessed that, although shot, was not grievously injured. The medical staff and Dr. John Smear were outstanding and very helpful, I cannot say enough about great they were and I sincerely appreciate their expertise and compassion."
Middleton remained in the hospital Saturday afternoon, Berry said.
Deputies responded to a report of a domestic dispute at approximately 5:30 a.m. Friday in the 1000 block of Pine Tree Drive, which is right off Highway 52, Cochran said.
"As I understand the husband was threatening wife at the scene and he had a weapon," Lewis said at a news conference Friday morning. Lewis described the situation as "life-threatening."
Once deputies arrived at the scene, they were notified the suspect, later identified as Middleton, left the scene and might be armed. Lewis said a description of Middleton's vehicle was given to the deputies. According to the sheriff's office, Gooch saw the suspect vehicle and conducted a traffic stop.
Investigators say as Gooch was approaching the vehicle, the driver's door opened and Middleton shot the deputy.
Gooch and two other deputies then returned fire, "immobilizing" Middleton, authorities said.
Both Gooch and Middleton were taken to Trident Hospital for treatment.
Trident Health surgeon Dr. John Smear said Middleton was also in stable condition Friday morning.
Gooch joined the sheriff's office shortly after Lewis took office and Lewis said he hired Gooch.
Lewis said Gooch was in good condition and in good spirits Friday morning. At one point, Lewis said Gooch asked, "Sheriff, can I still try out for the corporal's test next week?"
But Lewis took a somber tone during the press briefing, saying incidents like these serve as a reminder of what a dangerous profession this is.
"Any injury in this business can be life-threatening when you're talking about handguns and firearms being fired at you," Lewis said. "A couple of centimeters here or there can make all the difference in the world."
Lewis said the shooting underscores the danger law enforcement officers face every day.
"Most importantly, the men and women who put that uniform on and go out there every day and every night, they understand it a lot better than we do because they're the ones actually out there putting their life on the line," Lewis said. "My point is this: This is a dangerous job, this is a dangerous business that we're in. But every single time something like this happens, it should reinforce to the public: the reason we are out there, the reason we are out there is to protect them, and nobody else is going to do that for them."
Lewis said without the young men and women out there doing that job, society would be "in chaos."