Home News Officer killed in South Carolina survived previous LOD shooting years ago

Officer killed in South Carolina survived previous LOD shooting years ago

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Officer Drew Barr. Credit: Cayce Police Department.


Noah Feit

The State (Columbia, S.C.)

Apr. 24—Officer Roy Andrew “Drew” Barr, who died early Sunday after he was killed while responding to a domestic disturbance, had also been shot in the line of duty years ago.

“Our hearts are breaking in Cayce. Officer Drew Barr has been an important part of the Cayce family since 2016,” Cayce Mayor Elise Partin said at a news conference Sunday.

On May 27, 2017, Barr was one of two Cayce police officers who were shot during an incident that involved a car chase and gunfire.

Eugene Jonathon James, a 24-year-old Orangeburg resident, was driving a stolen car that Barr and Sgt. Evan Antley saw speeding on Knox Abbott Drive around 12:30 a.m., South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson said in 2021. Although the officers attempted to make a traffic stop, the car kept going and a chase ensued, eventually crossing the Blossom Street bridge into Columbia, Cayce officials previously said.

The pursuit continued through an area near the University of South Carolina’s campus before James turned onto a dead end at Gist Street, not far from Founders Park, the S.C. Attorney General’s Office said.

James jumped out of the stolen car and ran down a footpath near the woods on the Riverwalk before jumping into the brush and waiting in the ditch for the officers to approach, according to the S.C. Attorney General’s Office.

He then “assumed a crouched position, which appeared to the officers to be lying in wait for them,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said then.

After threatening to use his Taser to get James to comply, one of the officers heard gunshots and felt pain, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. The officer had been shot in the chest and leg, and the second officer was shot in the leg, the U.S. Attorney’s Office previously said.

Although both suffered non-fatal gunshot wounds from the stolen pistol that James shot with, both officers were able to return fire, according to the S.C. Attorney General’s Office. James also was wounded, according to the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, which led the investigation.

The wounded officers called for help, and the officers who then responded found James in the wood line with a .40-caliber Smith & Wesson handgun, the U.S. Attorney’s Office previously said.

The serial number on the gun had been burned in an attempt to obliterate it; however, authorities were able to restore the serial number and determine that the gun was stolen during the theft of a car in Orangeburg several days earlier, The State reported.

The car James was driving also had been reported stolen during a carjacking in Orangeburg before the shooting, the U.S. Attorney’s Office previously said.

Both Barr, who had recently graduated from the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy at the time of the 2017 shooting, and Antley were awarded medals for their bravery, Serve & Connect said.

James, who was charged by federal and state law enforcement, ultimately pleaded guilty to multiple crimes, including two counts of attempted murder, failure to stop for blue lights, possession of a stolen pistol, possession of a firearm by a person convicted of a violent felony, possession of a stolen vehicle and speeding, the S.C. Attorney General’s Office said.

In 2021, James was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

In 2018, James pleaded guilty in federal court to being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition. At that time, James was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison, a sentence he will serve after completing his 20-year prison stint on state charges.

This story was originally published April 24, 2022 11:05 AM.

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