Authorities identify suspects accused of terrorizing family, shooting at deputy

Published: Jul. 23, 2014 at 10:25 AM EDT|Updated: Jul. 26, 2014 at 1:02 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn
Mazyck, Jeswill Simmons, Justin Simmons and Jamison.
Mazyck, Jeswill Simmons, Justin Simmons and Jamison.

DORCHESTER COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - Investigators in Dorchester County have identified four men accused of terrorizing a family at a home in Harleyville and shooting at a deputy in Ridgeville.

The Dorchester County Sheriff's Office arrested 35-year-old Michael Jamison of New York, 30-year-old Jesswill Simmons of Moncks Corner, 40-year-old Justin Simmons of Moncks Corner and 39-year-old Claunce Mazyck of Charleston.

Bond was denied for the suspects who are charged with attempted murder. According to the sheriff's office, more charges are expected.

The men are accused in a early Wednesday morning home invasion which led to a man putting a gun to a 12-year-old boy's head at a home in Harleyville, and a shootout in a wooded area in Ridgeville early Wednesday morning.

On Wednesday at 2:26 a.m., deputies responded to a home on Hilton Street in reference to a break-in.

The victim, a 39-year-old man, said three men approached the back door of his home and began to knock. When the victim opened the door slowly to see who it was, one of the suspects pulled the door open.

According to the victim, as he ran towards the master bedroom he heard a gun shot. A sheriff's office report states when the victim and his wife got to the master bedroom, one of the suspects fired a second gun shot at the bedroom door which the victim was attempting to close.

Authorities say one of the suspects then broke into into the master bedroom.

The victim said a suspect told him to "Give me your (expletive) money." The victim said when he told the suspect he did not have any money, the suspect tried to strike the victim in the head with the gun, but the victim said he was able to block the gun from hitting his head with his hand which deputies say had a cut.

The victim's wife said after another suspect came into the bedroom, her 12-year-old son began to walk towards the room to see what was going on. According to authorities, the second suspect then put a gun to the 12-year-old's head and forced him into the bedroom.

The sheriff's office says the suspects took $200 in cash from the victim and his cell phone, and took the wife's purse and cellphone. Authorities say the suspects then left the home and got in their vehicle.

The victim said when he opened the door to try to get a description of the suspects and the vehicle they were in, one of the suspects fired a gun shot in the victim's direction.

Investigators say the victim was able to get a good look at the vehicle, run to a neighbor's home and call 911. Deputies on scene found single shell casings in the back porch, on a washing machine in the home and another in the yard where the victim said the suspects' vehicle had parked.

Around 2:29 a.m., a deputy responding to the incident saw the suspects' vehicle, a white SUV, in the area of Highway 78 and Highway 27. Authorities say a pursuit then began in which the SUV cut through a gas station and dumpsters and eventually cut through the yard of a home on Sampson Road. At one point, authorities say the suspects' vehicle turned into a wooded area.

When an assisting deputy began to walk towards the wood line, authorities say two shots were fired from the suspects' vehicle. The deputy then ran behind another deputy's car for cover, while another deputy fired two shots, according to a sheriff's office report.

Two of the suspects were then spotted leaving the vehicle through the passenger side of the SUV.

After more units arrived, deputies approached the SUV, knocked out the rear window of the vehicle with a baton, and made sure the vehicle was clear. The sheriff's office then set up a perimeter and located one of the suspects, Mazyck, near the vehicle.

Authorities say the two other suspects were also located after deputies used K-9s to search the area. A report states some time after authorities had detained three of the suspects, deputies located a fourth suspect, Simmons, in the area of Highway 78 and Highway 27.

Deputies said during the ride to the Criminal Investigations Division's office, Simmons asked if his "truck (was) still up there."

Mazyck told detectives that he was at a club drinking in Holly Hill, got drunk, got in a car and didn't remember anything else. Detectives said Mazyck told them that he had done federal time and "knew the way around the table," and was not saying anything else.

Brandy Swygart says she heard gunshots and commotion from the incident since her home sits next to the woods where the suspects hid from deputies.

"All four [of the suspects were here] and they were in the woods to the left of my house, and all the cops were in our yard as seen in the pictures," said Swygart who said her husband and three children were also awoken by the incident."We were listening and watching out through our windows."

Swygart says her family just moved to their home earlier this year, but says they are considering moving following the early morning excitement.

According to Swygart, nothing like this has ever happened in their area since they moved to their home, but it was "very scary" with three children under the age of 5 in the home.

A stretch of Highway 78 was shut down while authorities searched for the suspects.

Copyright 2014 WCSC. All rights reserved.