Police in South Carolina have caught a manhunt suspect wanted in connection with a deadly crime spree in South Carolina and Missouri that left four people dead and others injured, officials said Monday.
Tyler Donnet Terry, 26, was taken into custody in a field of high weeds around 10 a.m. in Chester County, said Sheriff Max Dorsey.
Neither Terry nor law enforcement officers were injured, Dorsey said.
Terry was caught near the small town of Richburg near Interstate 77, officials said.
Officials said Monday more than 300 officers had been positioned around Terry in the Richburg area after a confirmed sighting. Several roads, including S.C. 9, remain closed.
The shooting spree that Terry is accused of began on May 2. He is charged with shooting two people in Chester County and killing a transgender woman in the city of York, according to investigators. Missouri police say Terry is a suspect in the killing of a doctor and one other person on May 15. Missouri police said Terry’s vehicle was seen in that state.
Police from Chester County, York County, state and federal agents from the FBI, ATF and Homeland Security had been searching for Terry since early Tuesday morning after he fled during a police chase.
The driver in the police chase, Adrienne Simpson, 34, was caught and remains in jail.
Wednesday night, Terry was seen on video at a Chester business where he allegedly stole a gun, clothes and other items, police said.
Dorsey told reporters in an impromptu news conference near the scene, broadcast live Monday on television, that ATF agents found Terry hiding in a field.
“He was hiding in high weeds,” Dorsey said.
Terry did not resist, and was taken into custody without any officers or Terry sustaining injuries, Dorsey said.
“It was peaceful,” Dorsey said.
Dorsey said officers, including himself, made sure EMS gave Terry care. Terry received Gatorade and other nutrition, Dorsey said.
“He was tired, he was thirsty…” Dorsey said. “He had bug bites.”
Dorsey praised the work of the more than 300 officers from around South Carolina and the country involved in the search.
“I am so proud,” Dorsey said. “These men and women sacrificed, they put their own lives on the line.”
Dorsey praised the public and Chester County community for their assistance and patience during the search.
“For the community there was anxiety, frustration, and at times doubt,” Dorsey said in the news conference. “We thank the public for their help.”
Randy Newman, sixth circuit solicitor in South Carolina and top prosecutor for Chester County, said he was proud of the officers who worked for days to capture Terry.
“This was a team effort to take Mr. Terry into custody,” Newman said. “We at the solicitor’s office now stand ready to do our part.”
Kevin Brackett, 16th circuit solicitor and top prosecutor for York County, said his office will coordinate with Chester and Missouri officials on the charges against Terry.
“We are very thankful for the work of the officers who took Mr. Terry into custody,” Brackett said. “We will now review our case and work to ensure that justice is done.”
Prosecutors stressed Terry has been charged with crimes but has not been convicted and is presumed innocent.
William Frick, who was named Sixth Circuit Public Defender on Friday, said his office will represent Terry. Kay Boulware, an assistant public defender in Chester County, represented Terry on a pending June 2020 domestic violence case, Frick said.
“We at the public defender’s office in Chester County will be taking representation of Mr. Terry and making sure his Constitutional rights are protected,” said Frick, who had been deputy public defender until his appointment to the top slot when Mike Lifsey retired last week.
Geoff Dunn, a Rock Hill lawyer, has been appointed to represent co-defendant Adrienne Simpson in Chester County. Dunn declined comment pending Simpson’s first court appearance.
Simpson is charged with murder in Chester County and accessory to murder in York and Chester counties, according to police and court documents.
It remains unclear who will represent Terry in York County. B.J. Barrowclough, 16th Circuit Public Defender, said Monday his office has not yet been appointed for Terry because Terry is in custody in Chester County. However, Barrowclough said, if his office is appointed will conduct its own full and complete investigation into the allegations against Terry if the office represents either one.
“Although we have not been appointed yet, the 16th Circuit Public Defender’s Office stands ready to defend Mr. Terry if called upon,” Barrowclough said. “We will do as we always do and conduct a full investigation that ensures Mr. Terry’s rights under the Constitution are protected.”
It is unclear when Terry will be booked or make a first appearance in court. Law enforcement and court officials said it is likely Terry will need a medical evaluation before he can be taken to jail or prepared for a first court appearance.
Terry is charged with murder in the May 2 shooting death of Thomas Hardin in the city of York. Simpson is charged with accessory to murder in that case.
Thomas Hardin was a 35-year-old transgender woman. According to WBTV, a friend contacted police after not hearing from Hardin. A few months prior, Terry had been staying at Hardin’s home, but was put out when the living situation did not work out. Hardin’s friend, Chimere Hicks, says Hardin and Terry were romantically involved at one point, but their relationship had recently deteriorated. Hicks states that after this incident, Terry would repeatedly send Hardin threatening messages.
Terry and Simpson also are charged in two separate shootings in Chester on May 2. One incident happened on Ehrlich Street and the other at the Taco Bell on J.A. Cochran Bypass.
Terry and Simpson are both suspects in May 15 murders near St. Louis. A male doctor and a woman were fatally shot in separate incidents an hour apart in Brentwood and University City, Missouri, which are suburbs of St. Louis, police said. The shootings happened after robberies and police in Missouri called Terry and Simpson, “a modern day Bonnie and Clyde.”
After last Tuesday’s police chase, Terry was charged with attempted murder for allegedly shooting at three Chester deputies who tried to pull the car over. Deputies returned fire, but Terry and Simpson were not hurt. The deputies were not hit by the gunfire.
Terry and Simpson were both charged Friday with murder after South Carolina Law Enforcement Division agents found the body of Simpson’s husband, Eugene Simpson, Wednesday night in a rural Chester County ditch. He had been shot to death.
Several Chester and York County schools were under lockdown last week after sightings of Terry.
The FBI, York County Crimestoppers, and Midlands Crimestoppers had offered a combined $12,000 reward for information leading to the capture.
This story originally appeared on The Charlotte Observer, charlotteobserver.com.
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