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Eyewitness News was in Columbia Monday for a meeting of nearly 20 of the state's top government and medical leaders. They came from hospitals, police, the military and even tourism.
Gov. Nikki Haley clearly wanted to give the impression that leaders in a variety of fields were all on the same page, working together, should the state have an Ebola case.
Haley called it healthy.
"It's healthy for the public to know what we're doing, and why we're doing it" she said. "I hope this is an issue we never have to deal with, but we're going to prepare for it, as if we do."
Billed as a preparedness roundtable the meeting was open to the public, and was packed with reporters and news cameras.
Officials often used the word "calm" as several were clearly concerned that public hysteria over Ebola is a bigger threat than the virus itself.
EBOLA SPECIAL SECTION
Some hospital leaders pushed for more education to counter that.
"That more we can all do together to educate more, would be better," said CEO of the South Carolina Hospital Association Thornton Kirby.
On one side of the room sat leaders of the largest hospitals in the state, including the medical university of South Carolina. The Charleston hospital was the first to volunteer to take an Ebola patient if necessary.
Several in the medical field said that have trained staff in multiple levels of response, related to specifically the contact they will have with a potential Ebola patient.
One CEO said employees can naturally refuse if they don't feel comfortable handling Ebola cases. He said no one has opted out yet.
Others raised concerns over the constantly evolving Centers for Disease Control guidelines, both related to protective gear for medical workers, and what level of fever should trigger Ebola protocols.
Hospital leaders said being ready isn't' a one-time thing.
"We need to get up in the morning, and be ready every day," Kirby said.
There was obvious relief concerning the news Monday that everyone who came in contact with Ebola victim Thomas Duncan, who died, have been cleared.
Yet one lawmaker warned against complacency. State Sen. Harvey Peeler serves on the medical affairs committee.
"I fear no man, and few animals, but germs, germs have no conscious," Peeler said. "We can't become comfortably numb on this issue."
The director of South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, Mark Keel, said 18 agents had special training to deal the with chemical or biological scenarios that an Ebola outbreak could involve.
"We also have the Level 8 suits that provide the highest amount of protection," Keel said.
Adjutant Gen. Bob Livingston said his officers are ready as well, should hospitals or communities need them.
"We have quite a bit of equipment that can do isolation and decontamination," he said.
Helmut Albrecht, chief of infectious diseases at the University of South Carolina, voiced concerns about hysteria.
"What happens when someone comes into an emergency room, says 'Ebola' and the place shuts down?" he said.
Albrecht urged state leaders to come up with a plan to deal with scares of that nature.
Palmetto Health CEO Chuck Beaman said all of the ramping up to prepare for the disease is costing hospitals, which are footing the entire bill at this point.
"That's something we're going to have to talk about down the road," he said.
Terrifying moments caught on camera as armed robbers burst into a Burke County convenience store.
At one point one of the robbers even held a gun to the store clerk's neck.
The terrified clerk told Channel 9 he thought he was going to die after the gunman fired a shot.
The clerk said the robbery happened right around closing time.
He said he had his hands up and tried to cooperate, but still had a gun put to the back of his head.
In the video one of the robbers can be seen jumping over the counter and chased after the clerk at gunpoint.
RAW: Robber holds gun to clerk's head
Seconds later the clerk was forced to the ground where he said he could feel the barrel of the gun on his neck.
As he tried to cooperate, a shot rang out.
"I fell down right here. The shot, oh my God, I was really scared,” said clerk Neen Khadka.
Several investigators reviewed the video Monday afternoon in hopes of identify the assailants.
They said one of the men was armed with a knife and the other had a gun.
Channel 9 could see where the clerk kept his arms raised only to be shoved into a display case.
Friends were stunned to learn of the amount of force used to rob the store.
"That’s pretty severe. That's really scary to have to deal with all that," said friend Andrea Jackson.
Deputies said the gunshot hit the area behind the counter. At this point, they don't know if it was intentional.
Despite what happened, the clerk was back on the job Monday.
His friends just hope the men responsible are caught.
"(I’m) thankful that he is not injured and that things didn't end very badly," Jackson said.
Because the men walked the deputies don't have a description of the getaway vehicle.
Investigators are contacting other law enforcement agencies to see if there are any similar cases across the foothills.
Read more trending stories from wsoctv.com:
Bunker Hill HS students mourn death of third classmate in last 2 weeks
Mon, 20 Oct 2014 18:04:40 -0400
A woman is frantic, angry, and in shock after someone fired seven gunshots through a house early Sunday morning where several people, including her own daughter, were sleeping.
It happened at a group home on Wingate Avenue shortly after 1 a.m.
The woman's 27-year-old daughter, who suffers from physical and mental disabilities, was sleeping in her bed when three of those bullets pierced her window.
Her daughter was grazed in the chest.
“If the bullet had entered the room at a different angle it could've been her heart," the woman says.
The woman's daughter could not make it out of the bed on her own.
Her caretakers scrambled to get her to safety.
When police arrived at the home the gunman was gone. They marked at least seven bullets holes in and around the window and also in the ceiling and walls of the home.
The woman says detectives told them this shooting began two blocks away when two groups began firing at each other.
They say one gunman ran away and tried to take cover beside the home, but the bullets kept flying.
We checked crime stats in this area over the last month, and found one violent crime, an aggravated assault, that happened within a mile away.
"I pray they are caught so this doesn't have to happen to anyone else," the woman says.
So far, police haven't released any information about a potential suspect. If you know anything about this case, call CMPD.