Lake City officer dead after chase; suspect ID’d in pursuit around same time that injured Florence County deputy

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FLORENCE COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) — A Lake City police officer was killed Friday in the line of duty and a Florence County Sheriff’s Office deputy was hurt, according to officials.

The officer was identified as Lt. John Stewart. He was in law enforcement for more than 20 years.

According to Major Mike Nunn with the Florence County Sheriff’s Office, there were two incidents in the Lake City area involving law enforcement. One of those incidents claimed the life of Stewart. The other injured a sheriff’s deputy. Major Nunn said late Friday that investigators are working to determine if the two events are related.

In the first incident, Nunn said Stewart was killed following a vehicle pursuit that was initiated by the Lake City Police Department.

Shortly after that incident, Nunn said the sheriff’s office began investigating an apparent carjacking in Lake City. A suspect, identified Saturday morning as Jermaine Ryan M. Roberson, of Olanta, South Carolina, allegedly carjacked a vehicle on Frierson Road and pushed the occupant out of the car. The occupant suffered minor injuries but was not taken to the hospital at that time.

Roberson faces charges of kidnapping, carjacking, first-degree assault and battery and failure to stop for a blue light, Nunn said.

Later, a sheriff’s deputy spotted a vehicle matching the description of the stolen vehicle. After a pursuit, a PIT maneuver was performed on Central Road near Olanta, according to deputies. This caused Roberson’s vehicle to hit a ditch.

The deputy in this incident was injured while taking Roberson into custody and was taken to an area hospital for medical treatment. The deputy is expected to recover from injuries.

SLED is investigating the situation involving the police officer’s death. It’s not clear if the two incidents are related.

The Lake City Police Department posted a message on social media saying, “The City of Lake City is [saddened] today.”

The is a developing story. Stay with News13 for updates as we work to learn more.

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