Three inmates, two of whom are facing murder charges, escaped from the Orangeburg-Calhoun Regional Detention Center on Saturday night.
Orangeburg County sheriff's investigators were notified of a possible escape attempt at the county jail around 10 p.m. Saturday, the sheriff's office said in a Facebook post early Sunday.
Details about the escape, including how many inmates tried to get out, were not immediately available.
The sheriff's office said Tyshon Demontrea Johnson, 27; Curtis Ray Green, 20; and Christopher Shannon Boltin, 27, are being sought. Johnson and Green were awaiting trial on murder charges. Boltin is facing carjacking and grand larceny charges.
The jail is located on Ellis Avenue in Orangeburg, just off U.S. 178 and near Interstate 26, about 40 miles south of Columbia.
All three inmates should be considered armed and dangerous.
Johnson is one of three people charged with fatally shooting a 24-year-old man and injuring two others during a September 2017 armed robbery, The Times and Democrat reported last year.
Green was charged with murder in the March 2015 killing of a man who was leaving for work in the early morning when he was shot, the newspaper reported. The victim's truck also was stolen.
Sheriff Leroy Ravenell told media outlets Sunday afternoon that the inmates assaulted an officer in the escape. Details on the extent of the officer's injuries were not made available.
Ravenell, who noted that the jail is not under the direction of his office, said they are being assisted in the search for the escapees by local police, the State Law Enforcement Division and the U.S. Marshals Service, according to WLTX.
An inmate serving a sentence for DUI escaped from the jail last June but was arrested shortly after, according to ABC Columbia.
Anyone with information on their whereabouts is asked to call the sheriff's office at 803-534-3550 or Crimestoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC. Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.