SPARTANBURG -- A 12-hour standoff at a Spartanburg store has ended with the hostage freed and the gunman hospitalized with a gunshot wound in the shoulder.
The chain of events leading to the end of the standoff began shortly after 8 p.m. when a bulldozer knocked down part of the back wall of the Fast Point convenience store. WYFF News 4's Nigel Robertson said there were a pair of flashes inside the store, then what sounded like gunfire. A burst of white smoke appeared from behind the building.
A few minutes later, SWAT members at the front of the store slowly entered the building through the front door.
Just after 8:30 p.m., a bulldozer smashed a hole in the front right side of the store. Officers said the gunman, Jimmy Johnson, 38, and the hostage, Soroj "Shara" Patel, were inside a cooler at that end of the store.
A few minutes later, more gunfire rang out as a sniper shot Johnson in the shoulder when he appeared near the hole, and Patel ran to officers in the parking lot.
Johnson was picked up by SWAT members and put into an ambulance. He was taken to Spartanburg Regional Medical Center, where he is listed in fair condition. Patel was taken to SRMC to be treated for minor injuries and was released.
The standoff began around 8 a.m. Officers said Johnson, who was pulled over for a traffic stop, jumped out of the car with a gun and ran into the store, holding Patel inside.
Spartanburg Public Safety negotiators had been talking with Johnson off and on all day. A State Law Enforcement Division robot delivered a phone to Johnson around 4 p.m. after the phone in the store stopped working.
Officials said they decided to bulldoze a store wall after Johnson made threats to harm the hostage and police officers. A spokesman said Johnson fired at least 10 shots out of the store at officers.
Neighbors said Johnson shopped at the store almost daily, and he and Patel knew each other.
Hardy said the sniper who shot Johnson is on paid administrative leave, which he said is standard procedure following an officer-involved shooting.
"The sniper was able to make one of the most critical shots that I've seen in my 32 years of law enforcement, at the right time," Public Safety Director Tony Fisher said.
Johnson has been charged with kidnapping and faces other charges. An official said he was released from prison less than two months ago.