Officer Robert Edwards Jr. (WCSC photo)
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GOOSE CREEK, S.C. (WCSC) -- The Goose Creek police officer shot in the line of duty Monday night is in critical but stable condition, said Police Chief Harvey Becker Tuesday.
Robert Edwards Jr., a 20-year police veteran, was shot multiple times in his upper torso during a domestic disturbance call. Edwards is being treated at the Medical University Hospital.
In a press conference Tuesday, Becker said Edwards was not wearing a bulletproof vest, but that wearing the vest is up to each officer's discretion.
According to Goose Creek police, officers responded to a domestic disturbance at 111 Iris Street around 8 p.m. As officers arrived, the suspect, identified as 33-year-old Codrick Bass, exited the residence and began firing a weapon at the first responding officer.
Police believe the gunshots Edwards, 47, sustained came from Bass.
As other officers arrived, Bass continued to fire his weapon. Officers on scene returned gunfire and Bass was eventually taken into custody.
Bass is charged with criminal sexual conduct with a minor, attempted murder and discharging a firearm into dwellings.
"I heard the gunshots, then I saw [the officer] walk away from the house with his arm down," said Alfonzo Washington who lives nearby. "Then I watched him fall to the ground and the other cop came and kind of covered him."
Bass is also being treated at MUSC. He is in stable condition, said police.
Bass, has a previous arrest for domestic violence, but the charge was dropped in January 2001.
"After [the officer was shot], a whole bunch of cops came and before you know it was swarmed with cops and they were exchanging gunfire back and forth," Washington said. "A couple neighbors' houses got hit and windows and cars. It got pretty bad."
Becker said Bass, his wife and three juveniles were inside the Iris Street home when the shooting started.
Chief Becker said just six months ago, officers responded to Bass' home to respond to a domestic violence call.
The chief said two bystanders were hit with gunshot pellets but were not seriously wounded.
Iris Street is off Virginia Street and not far from St. James Avenue.
The Berkeley County Sheriff's Office, Charleston County Sheriff's Office and North Charleston police assisted in the investigation. The State Law Enforcement Division is investigating the shooting, which is standard procedure in such incidents.
Chief Becker expressed his gratitude for the outpouring of community support during this difficult time.
A fund has been established through the South Carolina Federal Credit Union to assist the Edwards family. Goose Creek police will continue to provide updates on Edwards' condition on the police department's Facebook page.