Child safe after being held as shield during shootout; 2 SC deputies injured

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Two deputies were injured along with a man who was holding a child “as a human shield” during a shootout at an apartment complex, a sheriff in South Carolina said.

The shooting with a man out on bond on a 2017 murder charge happened Sunday afternoon near Columbia as Lexington County deputies responded for a second time to a domestic violence call, Lexington County Sheriff Jay Koon said.

Albertus David Lewis, 27, is expected to survive along with the two deputies who were wounded, Koon said. The small child in Lewis’ arms was not hurt, authorities said.

“When you have somebody that’s is going to challenge a law enforcement officer with a handgun and use a child as a human shield, that’s not normal,” Koon said at a news conference.

One deputy was shot in the arm and released from the hospital Sunday. The other was hit in his bulletproof vest and his lower body and is expected to be released Monday.

Lewis will face charges once he is released from the hospital, authorities said.

Deputies went to the apartment after a woman called 911 saying Lewis had a gun and was setting things on fire, Koon said.

It was the second time officers had been called to the home Sunday and deputies had to fire almost immediately because of the danger, the sheriff said.

“We had to go hands-on with the suspect. He was armed with a handgun — also had a small child in his arms,” Koon said.

Deputies have been called to Lewis’ home six times since April, the sheriff said.

Lewis was out on bond from a 2017 murder charge in Richland County. Investigators said he shot his girlfriend, then left her in a wheelchair outside a hospital emergency room.

The State Law Enforcement Division is investigating the shooting. The names of the deputies were not released. It was not immediately clear whether Lewis had an attorney who could comment.