A West Virginia couple remains jailed Friday following a shoplifting incident that involved a gun at the Walmart off S.C. 544 near Surfside Beach, authorities said.
James Joshua Ferguson, 26, is charged with unlawful carrying of a pistol. Additional charges are likely.
Charges remain pending against the woman. The Sun News does not identify suspects until formal charges have been filed.
Police responded about 2:30 p.m. to the Walmart where an employee said he saw a woman put a phone charger and swim suit in her bag, proceed to the checkout where she and the man purchased small items but not the swim suit or charger, the report said.
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Loss prevention employees stopped them outside of the store and escorted them to an administrative office where the woman was asked to empty her bag. Employees took a loaded gun out of the bag and unloaded it, the report said. A second loaded magazine was also taken from the purse.
While questioning the woman, employees said the man became loud and started threatening them. That’s when they said the woman grabbed the gun and pointed it at them, realized it was empty and swung the weapon at them instead, police said.
A second gun was taken from the man’s waist before police arrived and transported the pair to the Surfside Beach jail.
A few hours later, police returned to the Walmart parking lot where employees had checked on the couple’s car and said drug paraphernalia and several rounds of ammunition were seen.
Police searched the car before towing it away and found ammunition, needles, men’s and women’s clothing, a laptop, personal hygiene items and chemicals consistent with ingredients used to make methamphetamines, the report said.