Person of interest in VA homicide sets fire to home during hostage negotiation in Clarendon County

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Published: Mar. 9, 2023 at 3:47 PM EST
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CLARENDON COUNTY, S.C. (WIS) - The Clarendon County Sheriff’s Office said a man who is a person of interest in a Virginia homicide set fire to a home during a hostage negotiation.

Ronald Ray Broadnax is being charged with:

  • Kidnapping
  • Burglary 1st
  • Arson 2nd
  • Assault 1st Degree
  • Possession of a weapon during a violent crime
  • Discharging a weapon within a dwelling

On Thursday, March 9, deputies responded to calls of a break-in in the 1400 block of Spigner Road in the Alcolu area. Dispatchers said a female caller had stopped communicating but could hear her speaking with what was believed to be a male in the background.

First responders arrived at around 12:45 p.m. CCSO said at least six deputies were on the scene by 12:48 p.m. Investigators found a Chevrolet in a ditch on the side of Green Hill Church Rd.

A search on the vehicle flagged it as stolen from Richmond VA and was suspected to be involved in a homicide that occurred several days earlier. Investigators said that as they prepared to enter the home, the front door slammed shut and window blinds were closed.

Deputies called out to the suspect using vehicle PA systems. The woman inside told dispatchers that the man had a gun. CCSO said deputies formed a perimeter and heard several gunshots. Five deputies formed an entry team and breached the front door.

The team was able to clear the residence except for a bedroom at the far right end of the home. They were able to speak with Broadnax and the woman, who was now a hostage. Broadnax identified himself through the barricade verbally.

Deputies at the scene were able to speak with investigators in Virginia, who identified Broadnax as a person of interest in a homicide. Additional support was requested from SLED and the Clarendon County Fire Rescue for medical support.

The road was closed between Green Hill Church Road to Main St during this time. Additional gunshots were heard inside the bedroom. A Lifenet helicopter from Camden was requested in the event medical evacuation was needed.

Members of SLED’s S.W.A.T. team exchanged places with deputies near the home. Investigators said Broadnax demanded a cell phone and said he would release the hostage in exchange for it.

At around 4:20 p.m. the woman climbed from the exterior bedroom window and was escorted to a nearby ambulance. Law enforcement detected smoke coming from the home. Investigators said Broadnax intentionally set a fire.

A fire engine was requested and used to put out the fire. Tear gas grenades were deployed into the home in an attempt to get Broadnax to surrender. He refused to leave the home when communicated with.

A SLED canine unit extracted him and S.W.A.T took him into custody. Investigators from Richmond are heading to Clarendon County to continue their investigation.


A hostage situation in Claredon County came to an end around 5 p.m. after a man entered a home on Spigner Road.

According to the Clarendon County Sheriff’s Office, around 12:48 p.m. a woman reported she witnessed a man trying to break into her home.

Sheriff Tim Baxley says deputies responded and attempted to get the man out of the house when he refused and held the victim hostage.

Officials with SLED threw tear gas into the home to get the man out.

The hostage was released, and the suspect is currently in custody. No injuries were reported even though the suspect fired shots at deputies.

Deputies say the suspect was traveling from out of town on I-95 and seemed to have randomly picked the victim’s home.

The investigation is still ongoing by the Clarendon County Sheriff’s Office.


Deputies and the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) are investigating an active situation in Clarendon County.

Sheriff Tim Baxley said the public should avoid Spigner Road.

This is a developing story, WIS will have more information as it becomes available.

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