Man in custody after hours-long hostage situation in Aiken
One man was in custody Friday night following a tense, nearly five-hour hostage situation along Jehossee Drive in Aiken.
Police did not identify the man by this publication’s deadline.
The situation was resolved peacefully Friday night – the suspect ultimately surrendered – and no injuries were reported, according to Aiken Department of Public Safety Lt. Jake Mahoney.
Mahoney is a spokesperson for the agency.
On Friday afternoon, a legion of law enforcement officers descended upon Jehossee Drive in response to a call of a man walking down the road and shooting.
The initial call came in just before 4 p.m., Mahoney said. From there, the situation quickly mushroomed.
Upon arrival, the suspect shot at police, and police shot back, Mahoney said. The lieutenant described the events along Jehossee Drive as an officer-involved shooting, which means SLED will handle the case moving forward.
After allegedly shooting at the responding officers, the suspect retreated and barricaded himself inside a Jehossee Drive home.
Inside the house, the suspect held his grandmother against her will, police said. She eventually escaped and was medically checked around 8:30 p.m.
One shot was fired during the armed standoff, according to Mahoney. Radio chatter at the scene described it.
Public Safety, the Aiken County Sheriff’s Office, SLED, the ATF and specialty response teams were all on scene Friday night. Armored vehicles – the Sheriff’s Office MRAP and an upgraded humvee, for example – were deployed, as was a SLED communications robot.
A large perimeter was set up around the house, and roads near McGhees’ Mile and South Boundary Avenue were shutdown. Neighbors were picked up and taken beyond the police line, which was set up near Cherokee Street S.E.
It took several hours to get in contact with the suspect. At one point, a nonlethal distraction device, a flash-bang, was used.
“Again, it’s going to be pretty loud, they’re about 170 decibels give or take,” Mahoney said before it was used.
By deadline, Mahoney said the remaining details were getting worked out.
Friday’s hostage situation and officer-involved shooting is the most recent violent outburst in the Jehossee Drive neighborhood. At the end of June, a man was shot several times along the 300 block of Jehossee Drive. He later died, as was reported earlier in the Aiken Standard.
There is no clear or immediate connection between the two events.