Suspect in officer-involved shooting released from jail 17 days - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Suspect in officer-involved shooting released from jail 17 days ago

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Gregory Johnston (Source: South Carolina Department of Corrections) Gregory Johnston (Source: South Carolina Department of Corrections)
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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

Two Columbia Police Department officers were involved in a shooting near downtown Columbia following the robbery of the Dollar General on Taylor Street.

According to a department spokesperson, police responded to the store late Monday afternoon for a holdup alarm.

Witnesses told officers that the suspect, 46-year-old Gregory Johnston, made several threats with a gun while demanding money from the register. Officials say he fled from the scene on foot after receiving an undisclosed amount of money.  

Johnston was eventually located a few blocks over at the intersection of Gervais and Laurens streets. Officers say they repeatedly asked for Johnston to surrender, but he did not comply.

"In speaking with the officers, they gave him multiple commands to stop and when he went to pull something out of his pocket they weren't going to waste time to see if the weapon was going to be fired," said Police Chief Randy Scott.

The officers opened fire at that point, and Johnston was hit. He was transported to an area hospital where he was last listed in good condition.

CPD officials say Johnston has a lengthy rap sheet going back to 1989, and had been recently released from prison Feb. 1. on a strong-armed robbery charge.

The two officers have been placed on paid administrative leave while SLED continues to investigate.

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