A South Carolina deputy was injured in an attack by a man who allegedly called 911 to ambush unsuspecting officers.
Officers with the Richland County Sheriff’s Department responded to two 911 calls from a man saying a woman was being assaulted and needed help around 5:30 a.m. on Wednesday, CBS 12 reports. Sheriff Leon Lott said when three deputies arrived, the woman told them she didn’t call the police and was not being assaulted.
As deputies were leaving the scene, they were ambushed with gunfire by the man who made the 911 call. Lott says deputies could not determine where the shots were coming from at first and didn’t return fire.
Instead, deputies established a perimeter and closed off the neighborhood. After an area search, police found Frederic Westfall, 25, in a neighbor’s driveway suffering from a gunshot wound, ABC Columbia reports.
Westfall was pronounced dead at the scene. He was found in full tactical gear and is believed to have died from a self-inflicted gunshot. One deputy’s car was hit in the gunfire. Deputy Joseph Shannonhouse was shot and injured inside his vehicle after bullets struck his patrol car and shattered a window. He suffered from glass to the face and eye and is now recovering.
Two others officers had not gotten in their cars when the shooting began but sought cover once the gunfire erupted, WLTX reports. Lott says 15 rounds were fired at the deputies in total.
“We are very lucky we didn’t have an officer killed in an ambush like the incidents that happened in Spartanburg and Cayce,” Lott said.
“It’s not because our shooter didn’t try; he certainly did. These deputies have a dangerous job, and I am thankful that he was able to go home to his family this morning.”