Search for man in shootout with South Carolina police

Reuters News
Posted: Oct 28, 2011 8:18 PM
Search for man in shootout with South Carolina police

By Harriet McLeod

CHARLESTON, South Carolina (Reuters) - Police were still looking late on Friday for a man who fled after a shootout with police, prompting a six-hour manhunt and the lockdown of seven schools in Greenville, South Carolina.

Children held in four public schools that were totally or partially locked down were dismissed for the day.

Police identified the suspect as Patrick Dean Lowrance, 25, who was involved in a shoot-out with a police officer at an apartment complex on Friday morning and then fled. Lowrance is wanted on 11 active warrants for kidnapping, attempted murder, possession of firearms and robbery in Greenville County.

"We don't believe him to be in the area at all," said Greenville Police spokesperson Officer Alia Urps. "The canine search trail ended and he would have had to get away in a vehicle."

Lowrance is considered "armed, dangerous and violent," Urps said.

The incident began Friday morning when police were checking an area where stolen cars were often left and found a Yukon SUV that had tags that matched a different car. The suspect fled in the car and police gave chase, said Greenville Police Chief Terri Wilfong.

The driver would not stop the Yukon, Wilfong said, so an officer in pursuit put out a general description and another officer found the car in an apartment complex near a school.

When that officer walked onto an apartment breezeway, the suspect began shooting at her. She returned fire and he fled, Urps said. The officer was not injured.

Police searched a wooded area with helicopters, dogs and a SWAT team for six hours. Children from several schools nearby in lockdown were sent home at the regular end of the school day, school officials said.

"We need everybody's help," Urps said. "If they know him, if they see him, we need people to be in contact and let us know where he is."

Lowrance was last seen wearing gray pants and a gray shirt with long hair pulled back into a ponytail, officials said.

(Reporting by Harriet McLeod; Additional reporting by Lauren Keiper in Boston; Editing by Jerry Norton)