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Two men remained hospitalized Saturday after they were shot by members of the Beaufort/Jasper Multi Agency Drug Task Force late Friday night after one of the men tried to run the officers down with a car, according to the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office. The driver's 6-year-old a nephew, who was riding in the front seat of the car at the time, was not injured.
Deputies said Johnnie Williams, 40, of Savannah, tried to hit the officers with a 1991 Cadillac Deville at the Canal Apartments at 1700 Salem Road in Burton. Williams has been charged with three counts of attempted murder and single counts of child endangerment and failing to stop for blue lights.
A passenger in the car, a 33-year-old Beaufort man, was also wounded but is not expected to be charged, according to Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Sgt. Robin McIntosh. The child was released to the custody of an aunt, McIntosh said in a news release.
The incident began about 9:15 p.m. when task force members and Beaufort County Sheriff's Office deputies stopped the car because it had stolen Georgia plates, according to the release.
After pulling into a parking space at the complex, Williams suddenly threw the car into reverse. He then sped forward "in a deliberate attempt to strike" three officers, McIntosh said.
Two of the three officers fired several rounds into the vehicle, which then crashed into a tree.
Williams and his passenger were taken to Beaufort Memorial Hospital for treatment of gun shot wounds. Williams was later taken to the Medical University of South Carolina where McIntosh said he was in "serious but stable condition" Saturday afternoon. The passenger remains at Beaufort Memorial for treatment of non-life threatening injuries. McIntosh said the passenger won't be charged because deputies believe he was simply getting a ride.
The three officers involved in the incident were not injured. They were placed on administrative leave until an internal investigation and one by State Law Enforcement Division is complete.
SLED investigates all officer involved shooting, SLED spokeswoman Kathryn Richardson said Saturday. Placing the officers on administrative leave is standard procedure in shooting incidents, she said. She declined to provide further information.
The identities of the officers involved weren't available late Saturday.
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