Investigators release sketch of suspect in Berkeley County Deputy shooting


http://www.foxcarolina.com/story/29070836/berkeley-county-sheriffs-deputy-shot

Sketch of the wanted suspect (Source: SLED)

Investigators have released new details about a person of interest who is wanted for the shooting of Berkeley County Sheriff’s Lieutenant Will Rogers.

Witnesses describe the man to be a black male in his 20’s, 5’10” to 5’11” tall, and could weigh between 150 to 170 pounds.

He’s also described as having a reddish tint in his hair towards the forehead area. 

Lieutenant Will Rogers was airlifted to MUSC, and has been taken off of the ventilator.

Officials say he is talking and is recognizing family members. 

Officials say doctors have been cautiously optimistic, and that Lt. Rogers is still considered to be in critical, yet stable condition. 

Authorities wrapped up a nearly 16-hour search on Friday at the Moncks Corner gas station, where the shooting happened.

Berkeley Co. Chief Deputy Rick Ollic said there is no indication the gunman is still in the large search area that included Cypress Gardens, which had to be closed because of the search.

“It’s a large area that involved the actual gardens, Cypress Gardens. It goes all the way up to DuPont, all the way up to bushy park road to where the SCE&G plant is,” Berkeley County Interim Sheriff Butch Henerey said.

Henerey said late Friday they do not plan to move to a new location, but will instead wait for new developments before making their next move.

Moncks Corner Police Chief Chad Caldwell, whose agency was assisting deputies, had said the heat would take its toll, adding, “If he’s out there, we’ll find him.”

Authorities released surveillance video Friday afternoon that showed the suspected gunman carrying a maroon-colored sack moments after the shooting. Authorities believe the sack is made of silk and they want to know why it seems to be so important to the suspect.

“It seems to have meant something special to him,” Henerey said. “He didn’t leave it after he shot the deputy. He didn’t leave it after he wrecked the car. We don’t know, but it’s an unusual piece of equipment for a male to be walking around with.”

The county has a 24-hour information line set up to take calls from anyone who might know something about the shooting or might have seen the gunman. That number is (843) 719-4424.

SLIDESHOW: Berkeley County Deputy shot by masked suspect in Moncks Corner

Henerey said Rogers pulled into an Exxon gas station at Highway 52 and Cypress Gardens Road around 10:30 p.m. and as he was talking to a customer in the parking lot, the masked suspect came around a corner and shot Rogers from behind.

Following the shooting, investigators say the suspect carjacked a black Hyundai Santa Fe and took off. Officers found the vehicle around 12:25 a.m., wrecked in a ditch in the area of Cypress Gardens Road, but no word on the driver.

The suspect is considered armed and dangerous. Authorities describe him as being between 5’10” and 6’4″ tall, weighing to 225 pounds, wearing a mask, white long sleeved shirt, and gray sweat pants with a white stripe. 

Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office set up a command post at the gas station just after midnight. A new command post was established Friday morning off Cypress Garden Road at Spring Grove, where the stolen vehicle was located.

Officers are advising residents in the area to stay inside as they search for the suspect. Deputies were seen searching cars in the area, while SLED is using helicopters and bloodhounds to assist in the search.

Traffic headed in both directions on Highway 52 was slow going initially because of the investigation and search.

In addition to Moncks Corner police, North Charleston Police, and agents from the Drug Enforcement Agency, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, the Department of Natural Resources and the State Law Enforcement Division assisted Berkeley County deputies. Bloodhounds and a helicopter were also used in the search.

Deputy out of surgery, in intensive care after shooting.

Berkeley County Sheriff’s Lt. Will Rogers is out of surgery, and in critical but stable condition after suffering multiple gunshot wounds late Thursday night, a spokesperson with the Medical University of South Carolina confirms.

Rogers was airlifted to MUSC around 11:30 p.m. and taken into emergency surgery after he was shot multiple times in several locations by a masked suspect in Moncks Corner. Hospital officials announced just after 7 a.m. that Rogers was out of surgery and moved to the ICU.

Law enforcement officers from a number of jurisdictions throughout the Lowcountry have gathered at MUSC to offer their support.

Berkeley County Sheriff Butch Henerey said during an early Friday morning press conference that SLED and Moncks Corner Police are continuing to search for the suspect who shot Rogers, a night shift supervisor.

Rogers has been in law enforcement for more than 25 years and was a GOP candidate in the recent Berkeley County Sheriff election.

In his 25 years in law enforcement he’s been a part of the South Carolina Highway Patrol, and a member of the Moncks Corner Police Department. He’s also a Marine veteran.

A friend of the family says he is a devoted family man, a father of three daughters and two sons. He also has two grandchildren.

Former Berkeley County Sheriff Major Ricky Driggers is a long-time friend of Rogers. He said he’s heartbroken over the news of Rogers.

Driggers described the veteran as one of the hardest working men in law enforcement he’s ever known.

Driggers has spoken with members of the search effort and said they are sad and upset over what happened, but “they need to keep their heads in the game.”

Authorities are expected to have more of an idea of how Rogers is doing medically sometime Saturday.

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