Judge denies bond for suspect in Ladson DMV shooting
MONCKS CORNER, S.C. (WCSC) - The Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office says the 18-year-old man wanted in Tuesday’s shooting at the Ladson Department of Motor Vehicles Office is in custody.
La’Ron Jaiheem Alvin Bess, of Summerville, is charged with attempted murder, assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature, and possession of a weapon during a violent crime.
Cpl. Carli Drayton said Bess turned himself in Wednesday.
Berkeley County dispatchers received a call reporting a shooting at the Ladson DMV, located on Wimberly Drive, just after 1:30 p.m.
Berkeley County Sheriff Duane Lewis said the incident began as some sort of argument between people in the parking lot and that the incident was not related to the DMV. At some point, he said, that argument moved inside where Lewis said the suspect went after the victim and opened fire, also striking a second victim.
Of the two victims, Lewis said it appeared that the first victim was the intended target and the second may have been an innocent bystander.
Chief Deputy Jeremey Baker confirmed late Tuesday afternoon that both of the shooting victims were being treated for non-life-threatening injuries.
Lewis said no DMV employees were injured.
Lewis estimated there were 40 law enforcement officers in the area searching for the shooter Tuesday afternoon. Several K-9 officers were also on the scene and Lewis said one of the dogs picked up a track that officers were following. The North Charleston Police Department and Charleston County Sheriff’s Office were also on the scene with their K-9 units. Troopers from the South Carolina Highway Patrol also responded and a law enforcement helicopter also joined in the search.
Deputies released two photos late Tuesday afternoon. One showed a man deputies described as their suspect in the shooting. The other showed a maroon Nissan Armada, which deputies said was involved in the incident.
The sheriff’s office confirmed Tuesday night that they had located the vehicle and identified its owner, but did not explain how the vehicle was involved and whether the vehicle’s owner was at the scene of the shooting.
Bess was booked into the Hill-Finklea Detention Center. On Thursday morning, a judge denied bond for Bess and ordered him to have no contact with the victims.
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