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S.C. Off-Duty Deputy Shoots Robber

December 3, 2000

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) _ When a Sumter, S.C. man tried to rob someone in a Columbia Mall restroom, he had no idea how soon he’d be face to face with a police officer.

Keith Atkins, 22, was arrested Saturday afternoon after he attempted to rob an off-duty deputy sheriff, police said. According to authorities, the deputy sheriff, Michael Baker of Lexington County, shot his would-be robber during the attempt. Atkins was taken into custody at a hospital where he was recovering from gunshot wounds, Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott said.

Baker shot Atkins with a personal weapon, not his service revolver, Lott said.

Richland County deputies will investigate the case and give the results to Richland County prosecutor Barney Giese.

``It looks to be a justifiable shooting,″ Lott said.

Baker was not injured and no one else was in the restroom when the shooting happened.

Baker will be assigned to administrative duty until the investigation is complete, Lexington County Sheriff James Metts said.

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