Suspect who shot at deputies during Florence County barricade situation charged with attempted murder, arson


FLORENCE COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) — The suspect who was shot after firing shots at deputies during a barricade situation in Florence County has been charged with attempted murder and arson, according to SLED.

Christopher J. Gaskins, 49, was charged with attempted murder, second-degree arson, third-degree arson, possession of a weapon during a violent crime, discharging a firearm into a vehicle while occupied and disturbance of religious worship, according to SLED.

The incident happened Feb. 17 in the Coward area, across the street from a church that was having a Wednesday night service. The church was shielded by Florence County’s new BearCat armored vehicle.

Gaskins fired 10 shots at deputies and hit an occupied Florence County Sheriff’s Office vehicle twice. He eventually set the home on fire.

According to warrants, Gaskins called his wife and left a voicemail saying, “Your house is burning down and you are gonna have a lot of death on your hands because I’m in the house loaded with guns waiting for the law to show up.”

Gaskins was booked into the Florence County Detention Center. The incident remains under investigation.

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