A Laurens County Sheriff's deputy was killed during a shootout in Clinton on Wednesday night, the Laurens County Sheriff's Office said.
Deputies said they were searching for 39-year-old Benny Brown Jr. after investigators said he shot and killed his girlfriend, identified by the Laurens County Coroner's Office as 38-year-old Nicole Kingsborough, outside the Fehrer plant earlier on Wednesday night. They said that shooting happened in the Fountain Inn Police Department's jurisdiction, but the Laurens County deputies were called in to help search for Brown.
Deputies said that search ended at a home on Barrel Stave Road in Clinton. They said deputies were involved in a brief standoff with Brown before shots were fired. They said Brown, Deputy Roger Rice and another person were wounded during the exchange of gunfire.
"It was about 11:30," said Hannah Iusti, who lives next door. "We heard gunshots and we looked out the window and there was lots of blue lights in our front yard. Then we saw the officer laying behind his car."
All three people were taken to a local hospital, but Rice did not survive.
Laurens County Sheriff Ricky Chastain said Rice, 29, had been with the department since last January. He said Rice had graduated from the academy within the last six months.
Chastain said Rice is survived by his wife and two children.
Chastain said Brown was arrested by the Laurens County Sheriff's Office on June 30 on a criminal domestic violence charge and was released on bond. He said the charge was in connection with a complaint filed against brown by Kingsborough.
A background check showed Brown had a criminal record dating back to 1990 in South Carolina. His past charges included simple assault, burglary and domestic violence.
"Anytime you needed something he would let you have it," Iusti said about Brown, who is her neighbor. "(He is) a really nice guy. I can't believe this happened."
The State Law Enforcement Division was called in to investigate the shooting.
The person who was injured during the shootout was Rico Kingsborough, a relative of Nicole Kingsborough.
In connection with the Laurens County shooting, Brown was charged with murder, five counts of attempted murder and use of a weapon during a violent crime.
Fountain Inn police said warrants have not been signed yet against Brown in connection with Kingsborough's death.
Brown was listed in fair condition at Greenville Memorial hospital Thursday night.
Family, coworkers mourn woman killed at work
Kingsborough's family said they are in shock over the death. The family talked with FOX Carolina's Adrian Acosta on Thursday afternoon.
"She was just a loving, caring person," said Brittanee Kingsborough, Nicole Kingsborough's niece. "She went out of her way to do for people. She liked to have fun and joke around. She made sure she took care of her kids and she loved her family."
The family said Kingsborough and Brown had been together for about 23 years. They said Brown had been charged with criminal domestic violence in connection with Kingsborough at least three times, including the most recent case.
Kingsborough's family said they ate dinner with Brown on Wednesday and that everything seemed to be OK. They said there were no arguments during the meal.
The family said Kingsborough worked the third shift at the Fehrer plant in Fountain Inn and had just arrived to work when the shooting happened.
Fehrer said in a statement that Kingsborough was a valued employee and friend.
"We have a team environment here, and she was very much part of the team," said Robin Mathis, of Fehrer. "(She was) very respected by her coworkers, and loved by her coworkers. (She) always did a great job."
Kingsborough is survived by three children, who are ages 3, 12 and 16.
Funeral arrangements made for slain deputy
Visitation for Rice will be held at 5 p.m. Saturday at Kennedy's mortuary in Laurens. His funeral was scheduled for 3 p.m. Sunday at First Baptist Church on West Main Street in Laurens.
A memorial fund was set up at Capital Bank. Donations may also be dropped off at the Laurens County Sheriff's Office.
Funeral arrangements were not immediately released for Kingsborough.
Stay with FOX Carolina and foxcarolina.com for the latest on this developing story.
Friday, May 24 2013 11:19 PM EDT2013-05-25 03:19:38 GMT
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