Deputies: Robber opens fire during chase; 3 arrested - FOX Carolina 21

Deputies: Robber opens fire during chase; 3 arrested

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Thomas Craft Jr. (left) and Jacob Lees (Anderson Co. Sheriff's Office) Thomas Craft Jr. (left) and Jacob Lees (Anderson Co. Sheriff's Office)
ANDERSON, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Three people are in custody after deputies said a robber fired shots at troopers during a chase through Anderson County early Wednesday morning.

Anderson County deputies said the Stop-A-Minit at 4154 Clemson Blvd. was robbed just before 1:30 a.m. They said a suspect armed with a shotgun entered the store, waved the gun around and demanded cash, cigarettes, cigars and energy pills be put in a bag.

Deputies said the suspect, 19-year-old Thomas Craft Jr., fled the store and got into a getaway car. A "be on the lookout" call was put out, and highway patrol troopers said they started chasing the suspect on Liberty Highway shortly after.

At one point, the car pulled into a driveway, Craft got out and fired several shots at troopers, before fleeing again, according to deputies. They said two suspects in the vehicle were able to jump out of the car and tried to run away, but they were arrested by deputies.

Deputies said the pursuit ended several minutes later after Craft's vehicle was overtaken by officers on Interstate 85 south near the six mile marker. Deputies said troopers performed a PIT maneuver, causing the car to swerve off the road, crashing into a tree.

Craft, of Liberty, was charged with attempted murder and armed robbery. Deputies said the other two suspects were Jacob Lees, 18, of Pendleton, and a 16-year-old woman. They were both charged armed robbery.

Craft and Lees are being held at the Anderson County Detention Center waiting for bond hearings. The female juvenile will be processed through the Department of Juvenile Justice but is being charged as an adult, deputies said.

Deputies said Craft and Lees are also being charged in connection with an armed robbery that happened two nights ago at the Plez U convenience store at 229 E. Main St. in Pendleton.

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