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'I arise in violent protest:' Judge denies bond for suspect in bizarre pawn shop shooting

Gregory Westfall appears in bond court in Berkeley County on Wednesday, August 10, 2017, facing several charges related to the exchange of gunfire in Big Buck Pawn in Ladson. (WCIV)

Gregory Franklin Westfall will stay at Hill-Finklea Detention Center a little longer. A judge denied him bond because of what he said about the seriousness of his charges --- attempted murder, armed robbery, and possession of weapon during the commission of violent crime.

Wearing his jail uniform and bound with handcuffs, Westfall entered a Berkeley County courtroom Wednesday night to find out if he would be granted a bond after being charged with serious crimes.

"When you have armed robbery that is a discretionary fine 30 years in jail," explained Judge James Hinson of Berkeley County Bond Court.

Judge Hinson explained the charges following a violent incident on Tuesday afternoon inside Big Bucks Pawn Shop in Ladson. Sheriff's deputies say Westfall, who wore ballistic armor, opened fire with a rifle. They say he aimed at two employees before running out the door. He was arrested a short time later in a wooded area behind the shopping plaza.

"I would like to say it seems very much so that this was a very premeditated instance of... I think that he is a risk to other people. Especially my employees or any other person he may come in contact with based on the things that I've seen and I would request the court not grant bond to this gentleman," said a manager for the pawn shop.

Westfall reportedly referenced the Sept. 11th terrorist attacks and "messages from the Russians" when first questioned by deputies Tuesday. He offered more cryptic rhetoric when speaking to the judge Wednesday.

"My actions were poor in choice. However, due to the circumstances of my life and the abuse that has been struck against me, I do rise in protest. And I arise in violent protest. That's all I would like to say," Westfall said.

The judge wasn’t moved by Westfall’s words.

"I am denying your bond. And so it will go to a higher court," Judge Hinson said.

Gregory Westfall left the courtroom and returned to a jail cell.

Westfall faces up to 30 years in prison for each of the most serious charges. He'll have another court date on October 13.

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