I-26 closed for 3 hours as standoff ends in gunfire

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Credit: Lexington County Sheriff's Department

SPRINGDALE, SC (FOX 46/AP) – Authorities say part of Interstate 26 in South Carolina was closed for almost three hours as a man with a gun refused to get out of his vehicle following a police chase, and was then fatally shot.

Lexington County Sheriff Jay Koon said the standoff near Columbia ended with gunfire around 1:45 p.m. Wednesday when the man made a sudden move as a SWAT team approached to arrest him.

The Lexington County coroner's office confirmed he died.

It was not immediately clear who shot him. The sheriff says deputies saw him put the gun to his head as he stopped west of Columbia.

His name was not released.

The Lexington County Sheriff's Office tweeted that the interstate was shutdown in both directions due to an "armed subject" who refused to get out of his car. The exact area blocked was I-26 eastbound at mile marker 113 between Airport Blvd. and Old Dunbar Rd.

The incident started as a pursuit in southern Lexington County when the subject drove westbound on I-26 and then made his way back eastbound, according to the sheriff's department.

A tactical team and negotiators were called to the scene and made contact with the subject through a cell phone.

Koon says the man was wanted for failing to appear in court on a charge of being a felon with a gun.

Westbound traffic wasdiverted to I-77 while eastbound traffic was diverted to Hwy. 302. The interstate has since reopened.