Snake killing draws SWAT

2012-07-17T04:15:00Z 2013-09-08T23:52:58Z Snake killing draws SWATBy RICHARD WALKER, T&D Staff Writer The Times and Democrat

Snakes, shooting and screaming were all elements of an eventful afternoon at a Cope residence.

The Orangeburg County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team and deputies were called out Sunday after dispatchers received a call reporting shots fired and people screaming. The caller said there was a big commotion going on at a Cannon Bridge Road house.

The only thing the caller could tell from his vantage point through thick trees was people at the house were screaming and shots were being fired.

Just after 5 p.m., deputies raced to the 4000 block of Cannon Bridge Road to prevent any more carnage. While deputies were en route, the caller’s phone suddenly went dead.

A second witness called county dispatch saying that from what he could see, hostages had been taken, some of them elderly and some of them young. He didn’t know how many. No one was being allowed to leave.

Worse, he said if law enforcement showed everyone would be gunned down right there on the spot, according to a Sheriff’s Office incident report.

The initial caller managed to call back saying that he could now see a man in the yard of the home brandishing a .22-caliber rifle. Near the man with the rifle was a child, he said, and some old people.

Meantime, emergency crews shut down their sirens and lights as they sped the last two miles to the home. They met with the caller about 100 yards from the residence. After he gave an update on the situation, he was taken to a safe location to the rear.

A woman walking down the road was taken into protective custody.

Analyzing the situation -- a single wood-lined lane leading to a house flanked by heavy woods -- the SWAT team was called while officers on scene concealed themselves in strategic locations around the house.

Officers then watched as a male wearing shorts and flip-flops ambled down the dirt lane from the house and toward the waiting officers. The thick foliage blocked any chance the officers had of determining if the shirtless man was armed.

However, as he drew near, he was ordered at gunpoint to the ground where he was taken into custody without a fight.

A security sweep of the property turned up a wooden rifle stock with no barrel. No one seemed to be harmed but the man subdued on the road appeared to be shaken after meeting so many officers.

It was determined that the homeowner had shot a snake he discovered earlier in the back yard. A child surprised by the shot screamed.

The SWAT team was ordered to stand down. It returned before arriving to aid in what was little more than an effort to repel a reptile.

The first caller told deputies he really couldn’t see that well through the trees. He just heard shots, someone screaming and he had assumed the worst.

Continuing the investigation, the officers learned the homeowner in question had actually been on the phone with that second man who later called law enforcement.

The two had a dispute on the phone during their conversation, according to the report. That dispute allegedly led to threats by the homeowner against that second caller, who, in turn, relayed them on to law enforcement as if the homeowner was threatening police, the report said.

Officers now believe the homeowner did not make threats against them. They did take the gun from the residence for safekeeping, noting the homeowner seemed intoxicated.

That second caller gave investigators a particular name, which detectives have since learned is not his real name. They still want to talk with the man they now know resides in Calhoun County.

No one was injured during the melee. Except the snake.

Contact the writer: or 803-533-5516.

Copyright 2015 The Times and Democrat. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(12) Comments

  1. TaxPayer59
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    TaxPayer59 - July 23, 2012 4:39 pm
    ccpsinsider said: "cwp cwp cwp hoo hoo "

    I know! Pretty pathetic, isn't it?
  2. sicntyrd
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    sicntyrd - July 19, 2012 4:49 am
    Oh, crow, so glad you didn't "bite the dust" :) One question... just why, answer me why, crow, it has to be an old WOMAN fainting. I know some fellas mighty skeered of dem snakes too!
  3. oldcrow
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    oldcrow - July 18, 2012 4:57 pm
    Da Old crow say, during this crazy series of circumstances!...Thank God Some old woman didn't pass out from high blood pressure or something, or we'd a had half of SLED, and the helicopter Down here!!!
  4. oldcrow
    Report Abuse
    oldcrow - July 18, 2012 1:00 pm
    Da old Crow say Miss sicntyrd said: "Hey, I got it now. I better start shooting them snakes and if the feds come to check on their endangered species, I can show them my CWP and explain that I felt threatened. Hot dog! GOT MY DEFENCE FIGUED OUT!" Miss sicntyrd, "AINT YOU SUMPUN". "YOU AIN'T JUST FELL OFF NO TRUNIP TRUCK" Slipped datun pass Da Old Crow....Did-un-ca? I'd caught it if.....I had-dun-a fell Off-a-Dat Turnip Truck"!!

  5. sicntyrd
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    sicntyrd - July 18, 2012 5:05 am
    Or maybe... "another bites the dust..." Where, oh where, has our little crow gone? Oh, where, oh where can he be? With his tail cut short and his ears cut long, oh where oh where can he be????
  6. dirtpoor
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    dirtpoor - July 17, 2012 10:32 pm
    Old Crow; where are you. They might have been singing the song: I don't like spiders or snakes..."
  7. guesswho
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    guesswho - July 17, 2012 7:44 pm
    Thanks for clearing that up for me Sic... felt like I came in on the tail end of the conversation... and CCP... if you say so.
  8. ccpsinsider
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    ccpsinsider - July 17, 2012 4:34 pm
    cwp cwp cwp

    hoo hoo
  9. sicntyrd
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    sicntyrd - July 17, 2012 1:24 pm
    I actually had two posts and only the second one was posted. In the first post, gw, I was talking about calling SWAT when I saw a rattlesnake. This brought to mind that rattlesnakes are an endangered species and therefore protected by law. Hence, the joke about feeling threatened being my defense for killing a rattler.
  10. RoseofSC
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    RoseofSC - July 17, 2012 10:01 am
    Someone ought to be charged for having law enfrocement come out to what sounds like a dispute between those two guys. The caller who made up his part of the story should be looked at with charges. Police have to deal with so much junk.
  11. guesswho
    Report Abuse
    guesswho - July 17, 2012 8:52 am
    Glad this turned out so well... kudos to the officers for their swift response and handling of this... it sure could have turned out differently. As for sic... sorry your post confused me.
  12. sicntyrd
    Report Abuse
    sicntyrd - July 17, 2012 5:30 am
    Hey, I got it now. I better start shooting them snakes and if the feds come to check on their endangered species, I can show them my CWP and explain that I felt threatened. Hot dog! Got my defense figured out!
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