COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A motorist who fled a checkpoint along a Hurricane Matthew evacuation route and then fired a gun at law enforcement officers has died after deputies returned fire.
Lucas M. Felkel, 35, of Moncks Corner died at around 7 p.m. Wednesday, according to a statement from Chief Deputy Coroner George Oliver.
Less than two hours earlier, Felkel led officers and deputies on a chase that began at a checkpoint set up because of the approaching storm, Berkeley County Sheriff Duane Lewis told reporters.
The sheriff said Felkel knocked down traffic cones and shouted at officers before speeding away. At some point, Lewis said, the officers stopped the man, but the chase resumed after he “drove in a reckless manner” toward them.
Stopping a second time, the man got out of his vehicle and began shooting at deputies, who returned fire, Lewis said.
The State Law Enforcement Division is investigating. No deputies were wounded, and Lewis said they had all been placed on administrative leave. The sheriff said he didn’t know how many of the deputies had fired shots. Authorities identified Felkel and the deputies as white.
The death came amid heightened tensions, particularly near the coast. Gov. Nikki Haley ordered the evacuation of several coastal counties and said Thursday that only about 175,000 people had left so far.