Surfside Beach police officer fires weapon during pursuit

Bullet hole in the window

Update: Surfside Beach police say the suspect, Christopher Glenn Clark, became ill in his cell Tuesday night. Officers called EMS, who took him to the hospital. He is hospitalized under armed guard. No more information about his illness is being released.

A Surfside Beach police officer fired a bullet into a man's vehicle during a Tuesday morning pursuit, according to Chief Mike Frederick.

Around 2 a.m., an officer saw a vehicle, driven by Christopher Glenn Clark, 32, weaving on Highway 17 and attempted to pull him over. Clark initially stopped, but then sped off as the officer approached, according to Surfside Beach Police Chief Mike Frederick.

A separate Surfside Beach officer approached Clark's vehicle while in pursuit on 3rd Avenue South, the car began to spin its tires and swung toward him. The officer fired his handgun into the vehicle in an effort to stop it from hitting him, Frederick said.

Neighbors in the Surfside community said they heard three bangs.

"Generally speaking, anytime an officer feels that he is in danger of great bodily harm or death, and a 2,000 pound vehicle is heading your way, it's not unusual at all for officers to feel the need to defend themselves," Frederick told NewsChannel 15.

Additional police units were called in and pursued the vehicle for several minutes until it came to a rest in the front yard of a vacant Surfside Beach home, police said.

Clark wasn't injured and continued to flee. A third officer was able to stop the vehicle about three blocks away near the intersection of Surfside Drive and Hollywood Drive. Clark then took off running, but officers arrested him following a short chase, police said.

The noise from the shooting woke Surfside resident Troy Holden. Tuesday, he discovered a window was broken from gunshot fragments.

"It's a bit scary after you get to thinking about something broke your window outside your home," said Holden.

Clark, a resident of Myrtle Beach, is charged with Driving Under the Influence (2nd Offense), Driving Under Suspension, Failure to Stop For Blue Lights/Siren and Resisting Arrest. Clark is also wanted in West Virginia for failing to appear multiple times on an Intent to Distribute Narcotics charge, according to police.

The Surfside Beach Police Department has requested that the State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) conduct an external investigation of the incident. Frederick said it's standard procedure in cases where an officer discharges their weapon in the line of duty.