SLED: 2 shot, deputy hurt in confrontation
By Bobby Bryant
Darlington County sheriff’s deputies shot two people during a confrontation last Thursday that also left a deputy injured and two vehicles wrecked.
The wounded people – identified by the State Law Enforcement Division only as a “male suspect” and “a second person” – were taken to an area hospital; their conditions were not known to the news media.
SLED agents were leading the investigation into the incident in the Trexler Street area off North Main Street, just outside the Darlington city limits. SLED routinely handles officer-involved shootings anywhere in the state.
A statement issued by SLED said the incident began when deputies were serving an arrest warrant. The Darlington County Sheriff’s Office said this was before 9 a.m.
A confrontation ensued, “resulting in the male suspect being shot by law enforcement,” SLED’s statement said. “A second person” – not specifically identified as a suspect in a crime – “was also shot by law enforcement during the confrontation,” SLED said.
SLED said a sheriff’s deputy was injured in a vehicle collision “associated with the incident,” but the agency provided no details. Photos from the scene show a black vehicle smashed head-on into the front of a sheriff’s patrol vehicle.
A brief statement from the Sheriff’s Office said that the deputy’s injuries were minor and that they resulted from “a traffic collision that was caused due (to) the suspect leaving the scene.”
No other injuries were reported.
One man near the scene, Brian Aguilar, told WBTW-TV: “I heard the police — he was like, ‘Put your hands up’ — and stuff and after that I heard some gunshots.”
The Darlington County Sheriff’s Office said it asked SLED to conduct the investigation. The DCSO said that any deputy involved in a shooting is placed on administrative leave and receives counseling.
SLED said that since this is an ongoing investigation, “no other information about the case will be disclosed by SLED at this time. SLED will defer to the Darlington County Sheriff’s Office for any information about their deputies.”
The incident was the 35th officer-involved shooting in South Carolina in 2020, according to SLED. It is the first this year involving Darlington County Sheriff’s office. In 2019, SLED said, there were 45 officer-involved shootings in South Carolina; two of them involved the Darlington County Sheriff’s Office.