'Still shook up': Witness details Aiken officer-involved shooting that puts man in hospital
May 16—It was supposed to be a late night snack run for Charles Emmanuel.
After waking up to get some ice cream from McDonald's, Emmanuel wasn't expecting to see a shooting.
"I am still shook up by it to tell you the truth, when I think about," he said. "It's got me kind of weary."
Emmanuel is still trying to wrap his mind around witnessing a shooting involving Aiken Department of Public Safety officers that took place early Tuesday morning in Aiken.
Since the incident, police identified Richard Dale McCarty, 30, of North Augusta as a suspect after he intentionally rammed his vehicle into an officer's vehicle, on Whiskey Road, according to an incident report from the Aiken Department of Public Safety.
The incident began around 1:45 a.m. when McCarty was trying to approach Sgt. Marquis Davis was in his patrol vehicle at a gas station at the intersection of Whiskey and Pine Log roads, according to a media release from SLED.
After a short conversation between McCarty and Davis, McCarty got into his vehicle and rammed Davis's vehicle and disabled both vehicles on Whiskey Road, according to the incident report.
McCarty exited the passenger's side window of his vehicle and chased Davis with a knife, the release said.
Davis attempted to separate himself from McCarty, who continued to pursue him.
Two officers arrived at the scene to assist Davis and shot at McCarty, the report said. The suspect was hit multiple times.
McCarty was taken to the hospital for treatment for several non-life-threatening injuries and no officers were injured, SLED said in a release.
'I was just getting an ice cream'
Emmanuel remembers going through the drive-thru and trying to turn on Whiskey Road, but as he was pulling to the the right side he noticed a police car and another vehicle parked in front of a gas station. He then saw the officer walk quickly to his car before he saw a white male in a truck with a look of rage on his face.
"He (McCarty) jumped in his truck and slammed on the gas and shot out to the road and hit the cop as hard as he could and ran him across the road into the tree in front of Regions Bank," he said.
Emmanuel said he heard the truck crash into the tree and the officer asking if McCarty was OK.
He said he then saw Davis come out toward the intersection with McCarty following him.
"The cop had a look of fear in his eyes, and as I look back, I could see that because it was fear and he was running for his life," he said. "The guy was gaining on him."
Emmanuel then saw two other police cars coming down Whiskey Road from the direction of Lowe's. He said one officer ran in the direction of McCarty and Davis, while additional officers ran to the right side of the bank before hearing about 20 to 30 gunshots.
"I said, 'Oh my Lord someone has got messed up here and hopefully the dude didn't shoot the cop,'" he said.
"It was the last thing I was expected to see," he said.
Lt. Jennifer Hayes with Aiken Department of Public declined to comment or give the names of the officers involved in the shooting.
SLED has charged McCarty with attempted murder and possession of a weapon during a violent crime.
One warrant stated that McCarty committed the crime of assault/attempted murder in that did with malice aforethought attempt to an ADPS officer by ramming the officer's vehicle with his car and ran toward the victim with a large knife in an overhand grip attempting to kill the officer.
Another warrant stated McCarty did knowingly and willfully possess and display what appeared to be firearm or a knife during the commission of a violent crime, attempted murder.
The incident is the 12th officer involved shooting in South Carolina for 2023 and the first officer involved shooting for Aiken Department of Public Safety.