A suspected burglar died Monday after he hit a Lexington County deputy with a stolen car and the deputy shot him, the sheriff’s department said.
The shooting happened at about 7 a.m. in the 100 block of Glenda Court, a dead-end dirt road in the Edmund area of Lexington County, according to the sheriff’s department.
Neither the deputy nor the suspect has been publicly identified. But the motorist was a 43-year-old while man, county Coroner Margaret Fisher said. The deputy, also white, is a six-year veteran of the sheriff’s department, Sheriff Jay Koon said.
The deputy was answering a report of a suspicious person and vehicle when he found a man sleeping in a car parked beside a home, Koon said.
“After speaking to the suspect, he stepped in to speak to the people that called it in – in the dwelling,” Koon said. “When he stepped back out, the suspect took off. He found himself right in front of the vehicle.”
The deputy was standing between the headlights of the fleeing vehicle, a sheriff’s spokesman added. The vehicle struck both of the officer’s knees, the sheriff said.
“He was able to pull his sidearm and fire his weapon,” Koon said. “(He) struck the suspect several times. The suspect traveled a short distance and hit a tree and died of his injuries on the scene.”
The deputy was taken to the hospital but was later released, sheriff’s spokesman Capt. Adam Myrick said.
The State Law Enforcement Division is investigating. The deputy has been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the SLED investigation and internal review of the incident, Myrick said.
This is the 27th officer-involved shooting in South Carolina in 2016, according to SLED. It’s the 11th such shooting in Lexington County in the past five years, but the first in 2016.
After the shooting, investigators found that the suspect’s car and its license plates had been reported stolen in separate incidents, Myrick said. The driver’s license was suspended.
Myrick said the suspect was being investigated for a burglary and pointing and presenting a firearm, and had an active warrant related to drug paraphernalia.
At the time of the shooting, the deputy wasn’t aware the man had an active warrant, the sheriff said.
“He didn’t know who exactly he was dealing with at the time it all happened,” Koon said.
SLED spokesman Thom Berry said there is no video footage of the incident. The cruiser was not equipped with a dash cam, Myrick said.
James Darrell Corder, 52, said he has lived on Glenda Court for 10 years and his home is near the scene of the shooting.
Corder was in his home at the time of the shooting, he said, but didn’t hear gunshots. The first he knew something had happened was when he left home at 7:30 a.m. to go to the doctor and saw law enforcement out in force.
Corder said he has seen the area grow steadily worse.
“Youngins can’t even go out in the yard and play around here no more because of stuff going on,” he said. “At all hours of the night you see cars in and out of here.”
Glen Luke Flanagan: 803-771-8305, @glenlflanagan