South Carolina officers were ambushed by suspect, sheriff says

Sgt. Mike Doty, Sgt. Randy Clinton, Sgt. Buddy Brown, Sgt. Kyle Cummings (WSOC)

YORK COUNTY, S.C. — Three of the four officers shot early Tuesday morning were ambushed, according to WSOC.

They were ambushed as they searched for a man suspected of beating his wife in the couple’s home. A fourth officer had been shot earlier in the search.

The suspect, 47-year-old Christian Thomas McCall, first struck one deputy near the home outside the city of York and then hit the others a couple hours later.

McCall was injured when officers returned fire during the second exchange, which ended a nearly six-hour ordeal in which officers were looking for him, said York County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Trent Faris.

The officers were identified as:

• Sheriff’s Sgt. Randy Clinton, the first deputy who was shot

• Sheriff’s Sgt. Buddy Brown

• York police Sgt. Kyle Cummings

• Sheriff’s Detective Mike Doty

Doty, who has been with the sheriff’s office for 12 years, was in critical condition and “hanging onto life,” Tolson said Tuesday afternoon. The injuries to Clinton and Brown do not appear to be life-threatening, the sheriff said.

Officials announced at a news conference Tuesday afternoon that McCall will likely be charged with three counts of attempted murder and weapons charges.

Suspect fled and hid after 911 call, police say

Sheriff’s deputies initially went to the home outside York, a city of about 7,000 people roughly 12 miles south of the North Carolina state line, after 10 p.m. Monday, after someone called authorities to say a male was hitting a female there, Faris said.

The suspect, McCall, left the home on foot before deputies arrived, Faris said, and police dogs were brought in to search for him.

During the search, McCall fired a gun from somewhere near the home shortly after 1 a.m. Tuesday, hitting Clinton, a deputy who handles one of the dogs, Faris said.

More officers arrived and searched near the home.

Shortly after 3:30 a.m., McCall fired again, and officers returned fire, Faris said. McCall, as well as two deputies and the York officer, were injured in that shootout.

Asked about the woman who was allegedly hit, Tolson said only that she was not seriously injured.

The county solicitor, Kevin Brackett, told investigators that they have probable cause to seek warrants charging McCall with three counts of attempted murder for the shootings of Clinton, Brown and Cummings, Brackett said.

Brackett said that because of Doty’s condition, it wasn’t yet appropriate to decide on a charge in his shooting. No charges were immediately filed.

McCall also could be charged with the possession and use of a firearm in the commission of a violent crime, and a first-degree domestic violence charge, Brackett said.