Suspect shot by Richland County authorities, deputy grazed by bullet

Richland County authorities say a bullet fired by Withers grazed a deputy in the leg.

COLUMBIA (WACH) â?? Richland County authorities say deputies shot a drug suspect Thursday evening, who opened fire on them as they tried to arrest him.

The incident happened at the Brook Pines Apartments on Broad River Road around 6:30 p.m. Thursday.

During the exchange, authorities say a bullet fired by 25-year-old Fredrick Withers grazed a deputy's pant leg.

Fortunately the bullet went through the material of the pants and did not break the skin of Sergeant Jerry Maldonaldo, a twenty year veteran of the Richland County Sheriffâ??s Department.

Sheriff Leon Lott says that deputy is doing well and is expected to be back on the force soon.

â??We are very lucky tonight that this is not a very tragic situation like weâ??ve had too many times recently,â?? said Lott Thursday evening. â??We are just very fortunate that no one was seriously injured and no one was killed.â??

Lott says Withers was shot in the lower body. He was taken to a hospital, and is currently in the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center.

Lott also stated that Withers had a previous conviction of a drug charge and was out on bond on drug related charges.

The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division is investigating the shooting.