Officer dragged by car, bystander shot in Laurens

Gary Lee Jacks
Gary Lee Jacks

LAURENS, SC (WSPA) — A police officer was dragged for more than 40 yards by a driver trying to flee a traffic stop, early Saturday morning.

This happened just after midnight at an apartment complex on Spring Street, according to the Laurens Police Department.

Laurens Police Department and the Powell Asset Protection Agency, a private armed security agency hired by the Housing Authority, were doing a walking patrol of the complex when they noticed a suspicious vehicle, police tell 7News.

The driver was stopped by officers from both agencies.  As officers were speaking to the driver, Gary Lee Jacks, they say he failed to comply and was asked to step out of the vehicle.

“As a Laurens Police Officer was attempting to remove him from the vehicle, Jacks placed the vehicle in drive and pulled off, causing the officer to become entangled in the vehicle,” said Major Chrissie Cofield with the Laurens Police Department.

Cofield says other officers on scene started shooting in an attempt to stop the vehicle.

The Laurens officer was ultimately able to free himself and was taken to Laurens Memorial Hospital with lacerations and severe abrasions.  He has since been released.

Police say Jacks sped off, leading officers on a chase for two miles.  Jacks jumped out of the vehicle, on Narnie Road, and began running.

He was later apprehended in Clinton with the help of the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office and Clinton Department of Public Safety, said Major Cofield.

During the investigation, police learned a woman had been accidentally shot by those officers attempting to stop the vehicle.

She was shot in the thigh, while standing on her porch, and taken to Greenville Memorial Hospital, according to Powell Asset Protection.

The Powell Asset Protection Agency Officers responded in an appropriate manner in an effort to preserve the life of a Laurens PD officer.  We are fully cooperating with SLED and local law enforcement during the course of this investigation.” – Lt. M. Tallent, PAPA

It is unclear which officer struck the bystander during the pursuit.

The incident is still under investigation by the S.C. Law Enforcement Division.

Jacks is in the Laurens County jail.

He’s charged with two counts of attempted murder, as well as failing to stop for a blue light and unlawful carrying of a pistol, according to online jail records.

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