RCSD plays 911 recordings, “disturbing” details of ambush shooter’s plan

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Published: Aug. 9, 2022 at 1:35 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - The Richland County Sheriff’s Department (RCSD) provided an update on a shooting that sent a deputy to the hospital last week.

RCSD provided an update on the case at 2 p.m. Sheriff Leon Lott said their investigation found information that is, “disturbing.”

On Wednesday, August 3 deputies were attacked after responding to two false 911 call in the Carriage Oaks neighborhood at around 5:30 a.m. Sheriff Leon Lott called it an “ambush.”

Lott played the 911 calls Tuesday. The calls have been traced back to the suspect’s cell phone during the investigation.

Deputy Joseph Shannonhouse, William Beck and Janson Bell were the three deputies that were shot at by a 25-year-old man, identified as Frederic Westfall.

Sheriff Leon Lott credited training and the tactical approach with saving their lives during...
Sheriff Leon Lott credited training and the tactical approach with saving their lives during the attack.(RCSD)

Lott said 16 rounds were fired. The investigation revealed Westfall had planned out the shooting ahead of time.

Investigators found a rifle modified with a sight and a drum magazine. He had 13 magazines with 470 rounds unfired on his body. A search of the premises found he had over 900 bullets with dozens of fully loaded magazines.

Sheriff Leon Lott said Westfall intended to kill as many deputies as he could during the attack. A drawing detailed firing points and angles of attack and had written at the bottom, “Dead Pigs.”

Lott credited the training and tactical approach of the deputies with saving their lives.

Shannonhouse’s vehicle was shot by a rifle fired by Westfall as he was leaving. Shattered glass went into his eyes during the attack.

The deputies called for backup and Westfall was eventually located deceased at a nearby house in tactical gear. Lott said it was believed at the time he’d shot himself.

Frederic Westfall
Frederic Westfall(RCSD)

Westfall’s motives are currently unknown. Lott said he has no prior interaction with law enforcement or history of mental illness. His parents were home at the time of the attack.

Lott said Westfall’s parents had been told he’d purchased the gear to send to Ukraine and were unaware of his plans.

RCSD said the rifle was modified with a scope and drum magazine.
RCSD said the rifle was modified with a scope and drum magazine.(RCSD)
Pictures of the equipment RCSD said the shooter had during the ambush.
Pictures of the equipment RCSD said the shooter had during the ambush.(WIS News 10)
RCSD said the vest had steel plates inside of it.
RCSD said the vest had steel plates inside of it.(RCSD)

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