Road rage incident spills into Walmart where off-duty S.C. officer disarms man
The man drew a gun and pointed it at the off-duty officer; a second off-duty officer helped the first officer unload the weapon and hold the man until backup arrived
By Noah Feit
COLUMBIA, S.C. — A road rage incident Sunday turned into a fight that spilled inside a Walmart in Columbia and involved a gun, the Richland County Sheriff’s Department said.
Jefferson Holliday, 26, was arrested on multiple charges after he was disarmed by an off-duty Forest Acres police officer who broke up the fight, the sheriff’s department said in a news release.
The unknown man who was originally fighting with Holliday escaped from the Walmart Supercenter on Killian Road while Officer Treyvon Warren took the gun away and detained Holliday, according to the release. A search is underway for the man.
The incident began in the Walmart parking lot, where Holliday and the unknown man had gotten into an argument that continued inside the store, the sheriff’s department said. Information about why the men were arguing was not available.
Inside the store, the argument became physical when the unknown man began hitting Holliday in the back, according to the release.
Warren, who was in plain clothes while shopping with his family, intervened and broke up the assault by subduing the unknown man, Forest Acres police said.
Freed from the attack, Holliday drew a gun and pointed it at both Warren and the unknown man as he walked toward them, according to the sheriff’s department.
Warren then stood up, releasing the unknown man on the ground, and got in between the two men, where he struggled with Holliday before taking the gun away from him, the sheriff’s department said.
At that time, a second off-duty officer with the South Carolina Bureau of Protective Services helped Warren unload the weapon and hold Holliday until Richland County deputies arrived at the Walmart, according to Forest Acres police.
The unknown man, who deputies called the original aggressor, used this opportunity to escape, the sheriff’s department said.
“I was there with my family when the situation turned violent. Along with my own instincts to protect my family and our community — I was able to rely on my training and deescalate the situation,” Warren said in a statement released by Forest Acres police. “Call it right place, right time or divine intervention — I’m just grateful this ended without any shots fired and all innocent bystanders were unharmed. No road rage incident, no matter how bad, is ever worth a life.”
Richland County deputies said they originally responded to multiple calls about an active shooter at the Walmart. Once on the scene, deputies realized there was not an active shooter, and confirmed that no shots were fired during the incident, according to the sheriff’s department.
The deputies reviewed video footage of the incident and spoke to the two off-duty officers.
No serious injuries were suffered by either the combatants or the officers involved, the sheriff’s department said. No other injuries were reported.
“We are so proud to have (Warren) as a (Forest Acres Police Department) officer. This was very heroic,” Forest Acres Police Chief Don Robinson said. “Willing to serve and protect, no matter where it happens. A true life saver.”
The Walmart was closed for a short time but reopened and was never evacuated, according to the sheriff’s department.
Holliday was charged with pointing and presenting a firearm, unlawful carry of a firearm and aggravated breach of peace, the sheriff’s department said.
The search for the unknown man is ongoing as deputies continue to investigate the incident.
Anyone with information on the incident at Walmart is asked to call CrimeStoppers at 888-CRIME-SC or submit an online tip.