By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer
(Walhalla, SC)——————————————–The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office has arrested a Westminster man on multiple charges related to a shooting that occurred early Saturday morning.
In a press release issued Saturday, Oconee County Sheriff Mike Crenshaw released information regarding two shootings that occurred Saturday in Oconee County, including one that involved a Sheriff’s Office Deputy that is currently being investigated by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division.
Sheriff Crenshaw said in that release that the 911 Communications Center received a call of multiple shots fired into a residence on Brock Road during the night. That call was received by dispatchers around 1:43am. Deputies from the Uniform Patrol Division arrived on the scene around 1:52am. One victim received one gunshot wound to the shoulder and was transported by paramedics. As a result of the investigation, deputies were able to obtain the identity of the shooter.
Sheriff’s investigators were notified around 2:00am that morning and began the process of obtaining a search warrant along with arrest warrants that included multiple counts of attempted murder and began to set up a perimeter around the suspect’s home. The suspect, according to Sheriff Crenshaw, left the residence with a passenger inside. Both individuals in the vehicle were white males.
The investigators activated their blue lights and sirens and tried to initiate a traffic stop but the suspect would not pull over and a short pursuit began around 7:55am, according to Sheriff Crenshaw. The vehicle came to a stop in the middle of Blackjack Road near Greenfield Road which was approximately three to four miles from the suspect residence with the pursuit ending around 8:02am.
According to Sheriff Crenshaw, shots were fired from inside of the vehicle and one deputy returned fire into the vehicle. The passenger and the suspect both sustained gunshot wounds; however, investigators believe at this time that the passenger was struck from gunfire inside of the vehicle while SLED is making a determination on how the suspect was struck by gunfire.
The passenger and the suspect were both transported to receive medical treatment. Earlier today, 24 year old Coax Arnold Sanford V was transported from receiving medical treatment and was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 1:17pm by an investigator from the Criminal Investigations Division.
Sanford V has been charged with four counts of Attempted Murder and four counts of Possession of a Weapon during Commission of a Violent Crime in relation to the Brock Road shooting. Three of the victim’s inside the home were adults and one was a 6 year old minor.
Sanford V has also been charged by the Sheriff’s Office with one count of Reckless Driving and one count of Failure to stop for a Blue Light in regards to the pursuit that concluded on Blackjack Road Saturday.
Sanford V was also served outstanding arrest warrants on charges of Reckless Driving and Failure to Stop for a Blue Light in regards to an incident during the early morning hours of January 16th of this year in which a deputy was dispatched to the area of Phillip Lear Road and Chauga Road in regards to reports of a suspicious persons. During the investigation, Sanford V was observed in a black Chevrolet S-10 pickup. Sanford V took off in the vehicle as the deputy initiated a traffic stop but the driver, Sandford V, would not pull over. Deputies lost sight of the vehicle and discovered it later on but could not locate Sanford.
Sanford was denied bond on the four Attempted Murder charges and that bond will be set by a Circuit Court judge. Sanford was given a combined $80,880.00 surety bond on the other charges.
SLED is continuing with their investigation concerning the Blackjack Road incident. The Sheriff’s Office conducted a parallel investigation to see if any policy or procedure violations occurred concerning the Blackjack Road incident which is standard procedure when a deputy discharges their weapon.
The Sheriff’s Office has determined that the deputy acted in accordance with policy and that no procedures were violated. Sheriff Crenshaw has placed that deputy back to limited administrative duty while SLED continues its independent investigation.
The deputy that discharged his weapon during the Blackjack Road incident is Sergeant Justin Ward. Sgt. Ward has been with the Sheriff’s Office going on eleven years. He was hired on March 27, 2006. Sgt. Ward is currently assigned to the Criminal Investigations Unit.