Authorities apprehend man who fired gun at deputies - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Authorities apprehend man who fired gun at deputies

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Earnest Maurice Allen aka Earnest Pickett (Source: Kershaw County Detention Center) Earnest Maurice Allen aka Earnest Pickett (Source: Kershaw County Detention Center)

A wanted men who allegedly fired a gun at deputies Thursday evening has been taken into custody, according to Kershaw County Sheriff Jim Matthews.

Matthews says investigators received a tip that Earnest Maurice Allen was at a residence in the Red Hill area of Lee County Friday afternoon. When officers arrived, Allen fled, but was later found in a storage shed with a small amount of marijuana and cash, the sheriff said.

Allen was on the run after firing at deputies during a traffic stop Thursday around 6:15 p.m. near Precipice Rd. and Black River Rd., according to Matthews.

As deputies stopped a van Allen was riding in, he jumped out, reached into his pants, and produced what was later determined to be .38 caliber pistol, Matthews said. Allen opened fire on the deputies, emptying his weapon, the sheriff said. One deputy returned fire, but it is unknown if Allen was hit.

A Kershaw County Sheriff's Office bloodhound team was brought to the scene Thursday night. Bloodhounds lead officers to the pistol that Allen dropped while fleeing, said the sheriff.

Officers continued searching, but the trail went cold. A SLED bloodhound team with fresh dogs picked up the trail, but it also ran cold. The search was called off around 11:30 p.m.

This isn't the first time Kershaw County deputies have had run-ins with Allen, according to the sheriff.

In early 2012, narcotics officers attempted to arrest Allen on eight counts of distribution of crack cocaine. Upon hearing that he was wanted, Allen fled to Miami, Matthews said. Kershaw County authorities contacted law enforcement officials in Miami who were able to locate and arrest Allen who was brought back to Kershaw County. He was later released on bond.

In October 2012, a deputy conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle being driven by Allen. While the vehicle was still moving, Allen jumped out and fled, leaving a child and a woman in the vehicle which crashed, Matthews said. Warrants were obtained for Allen for failure to stop for a blue light, child endangerment and possession of marijuana.

In November 2012 a General Sessions court bench warrant was issued for Allen for failure to appear.

Allen was wanted on eight warrants on drug charges and had been in and out of the Kershaw County Detention Center throughout the last 18 months.

Allen has an extensive arrest record with arrests for burglary, resisting arrest, failure to stop for a blue light, breach of peace, possession of a stolen pistol, numerous drug charges, numerous traffic offenses, pointing and presenting a firearm, assault upon a corrections officer and entering a premises after warning.

"It is more than slightly irritating that Allen, with his extensive arrest record, who fled to Miami upon hearing that he was about to be arrested, would be given such a low bond following his capture and return to Kershaw County," said Matthews. Now he is running again after shooting at my deputies. I don't know what it is going to take to keep these thugs in jail."

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