Three face charges after drug sting, shootout at Food Lion

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September 15, 2006

Three people will face drug charges after a narcotics investigation quickly escalated.

It happened at the Food Lion in Grovetown, where police say the suspects tried evading officers. The shootout that followed left shoppers stunned.

They thought they were running a routine errand...but after police began taping off their parking lot, grocery shoppers got a lot more than they bargained for.

Helen Lloyd didn't realize that today, police went with her paper and plastic.

"I feel like I'm in CSI," she said. "You have all the forensics here. You have the little things on the ground marking all the spots..."

Columbia County set up a sting operation to nab a male suspect. They tracked him down to the Food Lion, where he tried escaping in a white Chevrolet Impala.

"In that attempt, he attempted to run over one of our narcotics officers," Capt. Steve Morris told News 12. "In fact, he did strike that officer, and in the process, the officer fired one round through the front windshield striking the suspect, the driver, in the neck."

After a second attempt to flee, three more shots rang out. The driver was later airlifted to MCG after the store manager called 911.

For shoppers, news of the shootout was shocking.

"When I started seeing everything roped off, I thought 'Wow, something really bad has happened," said shopper Brian Daniels.

"There's a lot that goes on in Grovetown but this right here - I've never seen anything happen here before," said Lloyd.

The driver was not alone in that car. 19-year-old Michael Garrett of Hephzibah is still recovering at MCG. He will be charged with aggravated assault on an officer.

His 22-year-old passenger, Anderson Levon II, faces drug charges, as does the 15-year-old female who was in the backseat.

Upon inspecting their vehicle, officers found cocaine, a handgun, and cash.