North Augusta man arrested after overnight standoff

By: Sheli Muniz Email
By: Sheli Muniz Email
James Cochran arrested after an overnight standoff (WRDW-TV, September 8, 2012)

James Cochran arrested after an overnight standoff (WRDW-TV, September 8, 2012)

Saturday, Sept. 8, 2012

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. -- North Augusta Public Safety officers have arrested a 26-year-old man after an overnight standoff.

Officers responded to North Augusta Garden Apartments for a report of gunshots being fired and someone pointing a shotgun at some neighbors.

Public Safety arrived on the scene around 11 p.m. to find that 26-year-old James Cochran had barricaded himself inside his apartment.

First responding officers quickly established a secure perimeter around the apartment building and began attempts to contact Cochran.

Public Safety’s SWAT team also responded to the scene.

Officers say Cochran had no phone within his apartment, so in order to open up lines of communication with him, the SWAT team deployed a “throw-phone” through the bedroom window.

Once deployed, the SWAT negotiator immediately tried to contact anyone inside the apartment.

Those attempts failed and when SWAT team members approached the apartment again, this time to administer CS gas inside, Cochran allegedly shot at them once. North Augusta officers did not return fire. The chemical agent was successfully deployed but did not get Cochran out.

The Aiken County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team, as well as SLED’s SWAT team, responded to the North Augusta Gardens to assist with Cochran's arrest.

Through the night, negotiators continued to make contact with Cochran without success.

We're told SLED used a remote-controlled robot to clear the front room enough to allow SWAT teams to search the apartment.

A second round of CS gas was administered. Police found Cochran hiding in the bathroom under a bunch of wet towels.

He surrendered shortly before 7 a.m. Saturday on the front door stoop of his apartment with a shotgun and knife in hand.

Cochran faces five counts of attempted murder to law enforcement officers. He was arrested on the scene without incident and transported to the Aiken County Detention Center.

No one else was hurt or injured in this incident. No one else was inside the residence.

“It was a great day for us to have this end safely and without anyone getting hurt,” said Director of Public Safety John Thomas.

Cochran's arrest was a team effort.

“We definitely couldn’t have done it without the help of the other agencies," Thomas said.

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