Coroner releases name of man killed in shootout with deputies

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott says the man who died after leading deputies on a chase ending in a shootout on Broad River Road northwest of Columbia Thursday evening had stolen a truck and a gun the day before.

Saturday, Richland County Coroner Gary Watts identified the man as 34-year-old Kong Nay of Columbia.  Watts said he has been unable to find Nay's family to notify them of his death, so he's asking anyone who can help locate his family to call his office at 576-1799.

During a news conference Friday, the sheriff said Nay had been arrested in the past for burglary and assault on a public official. In May, Nay's family asked Lott's department to assist in taking him for a mental evaluation with the hope that he would be committed to a mental health facility, the sheriff said. "He wasn't committed," said Lott.

"What prompted him to go on this crime spree, at this time we don't know," said Lott. "Just very fortunate that no one was injured except for the bad guy."

According to Lott, the series of events that led up to the dangerous gunfight in a busy area of Broad River Road began on Wednesday when Nay allegedly stole a truck, a 9 millimeter pistol and three full bullet magazines from a home in the Harbison area.

Just before 7 p.m. Thursday, Nay was then involved in an incident at the Sunoco gas station located at 4140 Broad River Road.

"A man walked in, told the persons working behind the counter that he wanted some gas and didn't have any money. He wanted $40 worth of gas." said Lott. "The people working the counter told him 'we can't do that, but we can give you $5.'"

He wasn't happy with that offer so he showed them a pistol and demanded they turn on the pump, the sheriff said. When Nay went to the gas pumps, the convenience store employees locked the doors and called law enforcement.

After checking the pumps and pointing a gun at the store employees through the window, Nay eventually went back to the truck he had stolen the night before and pulled away, Lott said. At that time, deputies pulled up and workers told them that the man had just driven away.

During the ensuing chase on Broad River Road, Nay ran another vehicle off the road and then spun the truck out and hit a mailbox in front of Fatz, leaving the vehicle stopped on  Broad River Road near Kennerly Road, Lott said.

"At that time our deputies stopped the vehicles, got out and started giving verbal commands to the individual inside the truck," said Lott. "He never responded. All of the sudden he rolled the window down and started shooting at the deputies."

Deputies returned fire, which prompted Nay to duck down in the vehicle and stop shooting, Lott said.

"They did not fire until they were fired upon," said Lott. "When he stopped shooting, we stopped shooting."

"He raised back up and started shooting again," said Lott. "Our deputies continued shooting."

The sheriff said the position in which the truck had stopped allowed for Nay to shoot in a dangerous direction -- towards Walgreens and Fatz.

"This was 7 o'clock. Both of those places were full of people," said Lott. "We did find some of his rounds that...landed in the middle of Broad River Road right in front of Walgreens."

Lott said Nay ducked down at least two more times during the gunfight.

During the exchange with the five Richland County deputies, Nay hit one patrol car at least four times and another patrol vehicle once, Lott said. One of the deputies involved in the shootout was hit in the boot but the officer was not injured.

"After the third time that he shot at us, our deputies were able to stop him from shooting," said Lott. "Basically he was dead at that point."

Lott said he counted at least 14 shell casings on the floorboard of the truck. "The pistol that the bad guy had been shooting holds 17 rounds," said Lott. "It had been shot dry."

"He was prepared to do whatever he could, evidently," said Lott. "Being armed with such a high-powered pistol but also the many rounds that he had."

Lott believes the deputies' actions during the chase and shootout were justified. "Our deputies acted very bravely last night," said Lott. "Their training assisted them in doing their job very professionally."

The chase and shootout was recorded on a camera inside one of the patrol vehicles. That video has not yet been made public.

The deputies received counseling Thursday night and will continue to receive counseling until they can return to full duty, Lott said.

The intersection of Kennerly and Broad River Roads was closed for several hours during the investigation, but was open in time for the Friday morning commute.

SLED is investigating the shooting.

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