Red Top, South Carolina

From the Charleston Post and Courier of March 13, 2007

Delivery driver fires at carjacker

A newspaper delivery driver thwarted the carjacking of his van near Red Top on Monday while his 7-year-old daughter was asleep inside, then fired a gun after the robber left the van, the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office said.

James E. Duke Jr., 44, of Charleston suffered only a bruised shoulder in the 2 a.m. encounter that began in a parking lot at 3586 Savannah Highway, a sheriff’s report states. His daughter was not injured. The robber was not hit.

Duke reported jumping into the open rear doors of the van as the man started to drive off, deputies said. As the van turned south on Savannah Highway, Duke grabbed a pole and began hitting the man with it. The robber hit the brakes then accelerated, causing Duke to hit the back of the bench seat where his daughter was sleeping.

The delivery driver handed over his cell phone and the cash in his wallet after the man threatened to shoot him and his daughter, deputies said. By that time, the van had reached a gas station at the intersection with S.C. Highway 162.

The robber got out, but started to walk back toward the van, deputies said. Duke accelerated, did a U-turn, then retrieved a Glock handgun he carries in a bag inside the van. He fired at the robber.

The driver works as an independent contractor with The Post and Courier. He described the robber as a black man in his mid-20s, 5 feet 6 inches tall and 160 pounds, wearing a sweatshirt and jeans, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

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