According to Lt. Tim Pearson of the North Augusta Department of Public Safety, DPS officers responded to a call around 10:15 p.m. Tuesday about a domestic disturbance at 904 North Augusta Gardens, an apartment complex off Hugh Street near Georgia Avenue. When officers arrived, they were told a man waving a pistol ran into an apartment with five young children inside.
Officers established a perimeter around the building and evacuated the apartment buildings to the left and right of the apartment. In addition to North Augusta officers, North Augusta SWAT arrived on the scene. Aiken County deputies and Aiken County SWAT were also dispatched in support of the operation.
A negotiator began communicating with the occupants over a loudspeaker, and shortly after 1:30 a.m. four of the children exited the apartment. The fifth child, a 2-year-old boy, remained inside.
Shortly after the four children were released, officers and SWAT team members entered the apartment. The fifth child was located, but the suspect was not found.
The children involved, four boys, ages 2, 5, 9 and 11, and one girl, age 10, were not harmed in the incident.
Authorities are still looking for the suspect, James Thomas, 26, in connection with the standoff and earlier reports of a domestic disturbance. Thomas is described as a black male, 6-feet 3 inches tall weighing 248 pounds.