Deputies search for suspects in connection with K9 shooting – Hwy. 24

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Anderson County Deputies are are searching for at least two people in connection the the fatal shooting of a K-9 in the Townville area Wednesday. New Prospect Church Road was closed at Highway 24 as deputies in tactical gear combed the area with rifles in hand Thursday afternoon. Deputies had taped off an area around a red sedan and a helicopter could be seen flying overhead.

Sheriff John Skipper said deputies were initially called to a reported carjacking at the Dollar General on Highway 24 in Townville around 1 p.m. Wednesday. Skipper said deputies observed the car and on Hwy. 24 and began chasing it. The suspects jumped out of the car and ran near the intersection of New Prospect Church Road.

Deputies released a K-9 to chase after the suspects and one of them fired shots at the K-9 named Hyco, who was taken to an animal hospital and died a short time later.

One suspect, Sergio Martin, 23, was arrested at the scene and deputies were searching for up to three others in a wooded area. Martin was charged with two counts of attempted murder for firing at deputies and one count of shooting a police K-9.

Skipper said the search was ongoing for at least two other suspects and possibly a third. Two of the suspects may be wearing camouflage.

Sheriff Skipper said Hyco was the best trained K-9 in the department and had been with the office for six years.

Greenville County deputies and SLED were also assisting in the search for the suspects, Skipper said. Simpsonville Police Department and the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office sent K-9 units to assist in the search

New Prospect Elementary School and Lakeside Middle were placed on lockdown Wednesday while deputies searched for the armed suspects. Classes resumed as normal Thursday.

Martin was being held at the Anderson County Detention Center awaiting a bond hearing.