Veteran Had Weapons, Drugs with Him When Shot at Shaw Air Force Base, FBI Says

For the fifth time since May, Shaw Air Force Base is mourning the death of one of its airmen. (U.S. Air Force/Staff Sgt. Kenny Holston)
For the fifth time since May, Shaw Air Force Base is mourning the death of one of its airmen. (U.S. Air Force/Staff Sgt. Kenny Holston)

The man who was shot at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, last week is a retired veteran, according to an affidavit shared by the FBI.

Angelo Jerome Brown was in possession of weapons and a substance believed to be crack cocaine and has been charged with multiple crimes, FBI Special Agent Kevin Conroy said in the affidavit.

The Air Force originally said that Brown "illegally gained access" to the base on Friday, but the affidavit clarified the incident. As a veteran, Brown had access to Shaw Air Force Base, "as long as he submitted to the rules and regulations allowing entrance."

After showing his identification to the guard at the main entrance to the base in Sumter, Brown began making a "rapid utterance in an aggressive tone," the guard said, and Brown mentioned sex slave trafficking and kid sex slaves and told the guard that he was "laced," according to the affidavit.

The guard convinced Brown to pull off into a parking lot, but while the guard waited for a supervisor, the veteran got angry and threatened to drive away, while saying he had "a knife and BB gun in the car," Conroy said.

Brown ultimately pulled away and smashed through the gate, and was able to get through before guards could activate another barrier, according to the affidavit.

More officers converged on Brown's vehicle, prompting the veteran to again pull over, Conroy said.

Once stopped, Brown got out of his vehicle and yelled at the officers and threw the key fob from the vehicle before getting back in the vehicle, backing up and hitting an officer with a door, according to the affidavit.

The collision caused the officer to fall down, but he did not sustain injuries, Conroy said.

Brown continued to drive away but the vehicle soon shut off when it was not in range of the fob, according to the affidavit. With officers taking cover around the vehicle, Brown got out again, walked to the rear of the car and pulled what appeared to be a firearm that officers said they thought was a rifle, according to Conroy.

Initially Brown did not point the rifle at the officers, but he disobeyed their commands to drop the weapon as he continued making statements about sex trafficking and girls, Conroy said. While guards waited for a negotiator to come to the scene, Brown pointed the rifle at the officers, prompting them to open fire at Brown, according to the affidavit.

The officers immediately rendered aid to Brown as he told them that he didn't want help and that he wanted to die, then telling the officers they needed to "get them girls from Columbia," Conroy said.

Brown also threatened to take a gun from one of the officers and shoot him with it, although he made no physical attempt to do so, and told an officer that "if he gets his hands on another weapon, he was coming back for them," according to the affidavit.

"Our security forces personnel are trained to respond to a variety of situations to ensure the safety of our personnel and assets," Col. Kristoffer Smith, 20th Fighter Wing commander, said in a statement posted on Shaw's website Friday.

No other injuries were reported.

While Brown, who was in stable condition, was taken to a hospital in Richland County, FBI agents responded to the scene and processed evidence, Conroy said.

Agents determined the rifle "was a black pellet gun and that it did not fit the definition of a working firearm," according to the affidavit.

Brown was also in possession of a knife with a blade measuring 6½ inches, and inside the vehicle agents found a rock-like substance believed to be crack, but it was not field-tested at the scene, Conroy said. Both the pellet rifle and knife were considered to be a "dangerous weapon," according to the affidavit.

Brown is facing federal charges for failure to stop for blue lights (second offense), second-degree assault and battery, assault on federal officers, entering military property, and possession of a dangerous weapon in a federal facility, according to the affidavit.

"There is no indication that this isolated incident is related to terrorism or any other violent extremism, and there is no threat to the general public," according to the FBI, which was assisted by the Air Force Office of Special Investigations.

Shaw Air Force Base is home to 8,200 active duty military members and 1,200 civilian employees.

Following the incident, investigators spoke with Brown's sister, who told them that Brown asked her for her gun, but she said no because she knew that he was a convicted felon and not allowed to have a firearm, according to the affidavit.

The 54-year-old has a criminal record dating to 1995 that includes multiple convictions, including pleading guilty to a criminal domestic violence charge in 2014, Richland County court records show.

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