04/29/2011

22-year-old wore explosives, fired AK-47 at SWAT team

Blakely Hilton Jernigan fired a handgun directly at an officer’s chest from close range

By PoliceOne Staff

COLUMBIA, SC — It all started when a newspaper delivery man noticed he was being followed by the driver of a black Ford Explorer. That deliveryman called the police, who stopped the driver, 22-year-old Blakely Hilton Jernigan.

This is when things went sideways.

As Patrol Officer Alexander Broder approached Jernigan’s vehicle, according to The State, Jernigan fired a handgun directly at the officer’s chest from close range.

We can all breathe a sigh of relief knowing that Officer Broder was wearing his department-issued body armor. He survived, but Jernigan continued on to his apartment, initiating an hour-long SWAT standoff.

Jernigan’s father was called on to help negotiate. Hopes were high as it looked like the young man would be surrendering though a back door, but that’s when he plowed through the door and fired an AK-47 at two of the SWAT officers, according to The State.

Those officers fired back, killing Jernigan, whose body remained in the backyard while a bomb squad scoured the apartment. His body was strapped with homemade explosives.

Here’s what officers found in the apartment, according to the State:

“An undetermined amount of cocaine and marijuana, a second AK-47, machetes and other knives with long blades, and an explosive powder that had been used to construct the homemade explosive devices.”

The stove was also on, filling the place with gas, which could have been deadly if a flash grenade were used.

Read the full version on The State newspaper, which also happens to be the paper of the deliveryman who called police in the first place.

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