Police: Shandon shooter was wearing explosives, left gas on in home
Thu, 28 Apr 2011 19:00:22 GMT —
COLUMBIA (WACH) -- More details are emerging about the man who was killed Wednesday after coming out of a Shandon home firing an AK-47 at officers. Columbia police released more information about the events that led up to the incident.
Officials say 22-year-old Blakely Jernigan was wearing homemade explosives when he emerged from the rental house in the historic neighborhood. They also say they found another AK-47 along with other weapons inside the home as well as marijuana and cocaine. Investigators also say Jernigan's girlfriend was found passed out in a bathtub.
The chain of events all started during a traffic stop on the corner of King and Wilmot streets around 5 a.m. Police spokesman Brick Lewis tells WACH the officers were walking toward the SUV when Jernigan fired a gun from inside, hitting officer Alexander Broder in the protective vest. Broder, who had been on the streets with CPD for five days, was taken to the hospital and is expected to be okay.Related Stories... Police: Suspect killed in suicide by cop after shooting officer
About an hour later, officers spotted Jernigan at a home on the 2700 block of Blossom Street. Lewis said Jernigan was coaxed out of the house when he opened fire on police using an AK-47. Investigators say Broder was not shot with the AK-47 during the earlier incident.
Investigators now say the stove was left on filling the home with natural gas.
Officials think the drugs found in the home were meant to hit the streets.
"He has a history from the past of dealing narcotics and that may have been his intent in the Columbia area," Chief Randy Scott said. "Now we're not sure. We suspect that was it. It's an unfortunate situation. We're glad our officer is okay and we just want the community to quickly heal from this."
Jernigan's criminal record contains weapons and drug charges from when he attended Clemson University. Some charges were still pending in Pickens County court.
Under South Carolina law it's legal to posses a military style weapon, such as an AK-47, as long as it is a legally purchased semi-automatic gun.
What do you think about the state's gun laws? Do they need to be toughened or are these guns a Constitutional right that needs to be protected? Vote in our poll and leave a comment below to weigh in.