Sumter law enforcement believes the suspect from a September shootout with officers is still in the area and has boasted that he plans to have another shootout with authorities should they attempt to arrest him.
Speaking Thursday outside the Sumter-Lee Regional Detention Center, Sumter Police Department Chief Russell Roark said investigators believe 25-year-old Dontrell Montese Carter has also obtained another assault rifle, another vehicle, and is selling drugs in the area.
“We believe he is a danger, not only to law enforcement, but to the community at large,” Roark said. “We can’t say that enough.”
Carter is accused of committing a series of violent crimes during the early morning hours of Sept. 18, culminating with the suspect firing multiple shots at officers with an AK-47 assault rifle after crashing his car during a high-speed chase with law enforcement, and has eluded capture since.
In announcing a $7,500 reward for information leading to Carter’s arrest, Roark also said investigators believe Carter is now driving a black four-door vehicle, perhaps a Nissan or Infinity, and is frequenting the Sarah Glen Drive and Windsor City Mobile Home Park areas of Sumter County.
In addition, “We believe he is continuing his criminal enterprise of selling marijuana, briefly stopping in local clubs in the Rembert area,” Roark said.
“This is something that we traditionally do not do,” Roark said about the reward. “But given the fact about his propensity to violence, given the fact that his weapon of choice is a 762mm high-powered rifle, given the fact that he’s fired recklessly and law enforcement and the community at large, we need the community’s help.”
Carter is described as a medium-skinned black male standing 5 feet, 10 inches tall and weighing about 170 pounds. While Carter was described as having dreadlocks at the time of the Sept. incident, Roark said investigators believe he might have cut his hair since then.
Law enforcement strongly asks the public not to approach the suspect if he is spotted, but rather to immediately call either 911, the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office at (803) 436-2700, or Crime Stoppers at (803) 436-2718.
Dashcam video of the September shootout with law enforcement was released by law enforcement last month. That video can be seen here:
Fortunately no one was injured in the gun battle, and no one was seriously injured in any of incidents throughout the Dalzell area in northern Sumter County leading up to the altercation with law enforcement, which allegedly began with Carter physically assaulting his girlfriend before firing multiple shots into the nearby home of a relative.
As we pointed out in a previous story, Carter has been awaiting trial on various violent crime charges, including attempted murder, since 2008, and has been arrested at least 14 times over the past eight years.