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Orangeburg man accused of shooting at officers
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Orangeburg man accused of shooting at officers

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An Orangeburg man is accused of shooting at police officers as he was being pursued on Saturday afternoon.

Phillip Michael King, 31, of 107 Mincer Court is facing three counts of attempted murder and one count each of possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime, possession of a stolen pistol and possession of a stolen pistol with an obliterated serial number.

Cleo D. Strong, 34, of 4000 Plowden Road Apt. 29B, Columbia is facing the charge of misprision of a felony.

The incident began Saturday afternoon when a man reported seeing someone driving his Dodge Journey, which had been stolen.

King is accused of shooting at three Orangeburg Department of Public Safety Officers when officers attempted to stop the vehicle. He was allegedly a backseat passenger in the vehicle.

When the vehicle came to a stop on McLaine Street, two of the occupants ran from the scene, S.C. Law Enforcement Division spokesman Thom Berry said.

At least one officer returned fire.

“A gun was found near the stolen vehicle,” Berry said.

No one was injured in the shooting incident.

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ODPS asked SLED to investigate the incident due to it being an officer-involved shooting.

A warrant accuses Strong of being untruthful with SLED agents about her seating location in the vehicle and knowing the alleged shooter’s identity.

The warrant states that she told a SLED agent she’d just met King on Saturday.

“Information provided by witnesses was that the defendant and shooter, later identified as Phillip Michael King, were in a relationship. On Sept. 23, subsequent investigation led to Phillip King being detained,” the warrant states.

The warrant goes on to say that King told agents that he and Strong, “have been in a relationship for seven months and she was in the vehicle when he fired a gun at police.”

The three victims listed as ODPS officers include: C. Miles, R. Hill and A. Rickenbaker.

“This is an ongoing investigation,” Berry said.

“No other information about the case will be disclosed by SLED at this time,” he added.

This is the 29th officer-involved shooting in South Carolina in 2018 and the first this year involving ODPS officers.

In 2017, there were 49 officer-involved shootings in South Carolina. None involved ODPS.

Contact the writer: mbrown@timesanddemocrat.com or 803-533-5545. Follow on Twitter: @MRBrownTandD.

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