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SLED investigating deputy-involved shooting

Building owner slightly injured

Posted: March 23, 2018 11:49 a.m.
Updated: March 27, 2018 1:00 a.m.
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The S.C. State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) is investigating a shooting incident involving a Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) deputy that took place early Friday morning at a Lugoff-area business.

According to a SLED press release, one man suffered a minor injury in a confrontation with the deputy, who was investigating a possible break-in at the business.

In a press release issued later Friday afternoon, the KCSO said two deputies responded to a citizen's report of a burglary at the Lugoff business around 12:30 a.m. Friday. The responding deputies proceeded toward the building where the burglary had been reported and, immediately prior to entering, a man coming out of the building confronted them while holding a shotgun.

According to the KCSO, the man turned towards the deputies, weapon in hand. One of hte deputies fired a round from his duty weapon, grazing one of the man's fingers.

The man then identified himself as the owner of the building, according to the press relase. He refused medical treatment because the wond was very minor, KCSO officials said in the release.

SLED officials said it conducts investigations into officer-involved shootings at the request of the agency involved in the incident, in this case, the KCSO. These independent investigations follow SLED’s guidance in conducting interviews along with the gathering and analysis of forensic evidence.

“Interviews are being conducted with the responding deputy and others,” SLED spokesman Thom Berry said in the press release.

Berry said there is no dash cam video of the incident since it took place away from the deputy’s patrol car. He said information gathered in SLED’s investigation will be summarized in a case file report to be submitted to prosecutors, who will determine if any charges are to be filed against the deputy.

“This is an ongoing investigation. No other information about the case will be disclosed by SLED at this time,” Berry said in the press release, deferring to the KCSO for any information about the deputy involved in the case.

The KCSO said it immediately notified SLED, which responded to the scene.

"All too frequently in officer involved shootings, the public forms opinions and draws very incorrect conclusions without knowing any of the facts," Kershaw County Sheriff Jim Matthews said in the press release. "So as to not influence SLED's investigation, what has been reported in this release is purposefully very minimal. When SLED is completed with its investigation, we will make their findings public and we will take disciplinary action if it is warranted."

Berry said the Lugoff incident is the 12th officer-involved shooting for 2018 in South Carolina, the first this year involving the KCSO. In 2017, he said, there were 49 officer-involved shootings in the state, but that none of the involved the sheriff’s office.

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