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SC Sheriff: Newly purchased armored vehicle saved lives during standoff

The department’s new BearCat had been in operation just two weeks when it was struck by bullets last month

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A Lenco BearCat G2

Lenco Armored Vehicles

By Police1 Staff

FLORENCE COUNTY, S.C. — A South Carolina sheriff is crediting his department’s new Lenco BearCat with helping end an armed standoff, just two weeks after it was purchased.

According to SC Now, the incident began Feb. 17 when a woman reported that her husband had threatened to set their home on fire. Florence County officials said the man did in fact start a fire – later extinguished by firefighters – and met deputies with gunshots.

The suspect shot randomly at deputies, with two bullets hitting the BearCat’s windows, according to SC Now. Sheriff T.J. Joye said he himself was sitting at the window when the bullets were repelled by the vehicle’s armored plating. The vehicle had also been placed between the gunfire and an ongoing church service nearby, reports SC Now.

Deputies ultimately wounded the suspect and took him into custody.

The BearCat was purchased with voter-approved sales tax funds, according to SC Now. Joye says the standoff was the third time the BearCat had been deployed by the sheriff’s office.

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