Heroic South Carolina Deputy Survives Shootout, Neutralizes Felon

In an amazing display of bravery and resilience, Charleston County Deputy Evan Cubbage, 36, survived a violent shootout and managed to neutralize the suspect, despite suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. During a routine traffic stop on May 7, the incident is a stark reminder of the dangers law enforcement officers face while serving the public.

The traffic stop unfolded on U.S. Highway 17 near Ravenel, South Carolina, when Deputy Cubbage pulled over a vehicle for erratic driving. The seemingly routine event took a dangerous turn when the passenger, identified as James Rakeem Pierce, 28, drew a firearm, triggering a fierce shootout.

Pierce, a convicted felon, was found illegally carrying a firearm. Deputy Cubbage courageously returned fire and neutralized Pierce despite being shot multiple times. While distressing to watch, the dashcam footage captured the deputy’s quick and decisive actions, illustrating the real-life threats that law enforcement officers face daily.

“I am angered by the violence directed at those who lay their lives on the line daily to protect our citizens,” Sheriff Kristin Graziano said, lauding the deputies’ advanced training. She stressed that this training was instrumental in preventing a tragic loss within the department. “They acted appropriately and professionally under fire,” she affirmed.

The incident underscores the increasing dangers law enforcement officers face across South Carolina and the nation. This incident marks the 11th officer-involved shooting in the Palmetto State for 2023 and the first for Charleston County. This alarming rise contrasts starkly with the single officer-involved shooting in the county in 2022.

Deputy Cubbage’s swift action and the teamwork between him and his backup, Deputy Alexander Hodge, averted a potential tragedy. Their bravery is a testament to the commitment and dedication of our law enforcement officers, who risk their lives daily to protect their communities. “We were very, very, very lucky today that these two deputies survived this incident,” Graziano acknowledged.

Cubbage, a deputy since August 2020, and Hodge, who joined the force in December 2018, were placed on paid administrative leave per agency protocol pending further investigation. Cubbage was released from the hospital that night, a testament to his resilience and resolve.
In the aftermath, the community has rallied around their local heroes, expressing their support and gratitude for the deputies who put their lives on the line. As this incident makes clear, the valor and commitment of our law enforcement officers deserve our utmost respect and appreciation. Their willingness to face danger head-on is a beacon of hope and assurance for their communities.

This incident serves as a potent reminder of the increasing challenges law enforcement officers face, highlighting the need for continued support, both in advanced training and community backing. We owe it to these brave individuals to ensure they are equipped with the skills and resources they need to safely carry out their duties and return home to their families after each shift.