Deputy involved in shooting at Piedmont gas station

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A Greenville County Sheriff’s Deputy was involved in a shooting at a Piedmont Hwy. gas station Monday morning after a suspect refused to follow commands of deputies, then exited the vehicle approaching deputies and reaching into his waistbans as if he was reaching for a weapon.

The sheriff’s offfice stated the deputy feared for his safety and the safety of other deputies on the scene.

The shooting occurred after deputies responded to an incident Monday morning at 6:25 a.m. at 1625 Piedmont Highway regarding a suspicious vehicle parked next to a gas pump. According to the 911 call, the vehile and the occupants had not moved for approximately two hours.

According to reports, a deputy arrived on scene and as he approached the vehicle he observed a handgun in plain view in the lap of the driver. The deputy backed away from the vehicle and requested additional backup units. Five additional deputies arrived on scene. All deputies on scene were made aware of the weapon inside the vehicle.

From the view point of other deputies, it appeared that possibly three occupants were inside the vehicle. The deputies began to give loud, clear verbal commands for the occupants to show their hands. At first none of the occupants complied with the commands given by the deputies. The deputies continued to give loud, clear verbal commands for the occupants to show their hands.

The driver awoke and did comply with the deputies commands and did show his hands. The driver was detained and placed into handcuffs by deputies. Other deputies on scene continued to give loud, clear verbal commands to the passenger to show his hands.

The passenger did not comply with the commands and was reaching into his waistband and clothing area while inside the suspect vehicle. Deputies continued to give him commands to show his hands and he still refused to comply with the commands and show his hands. The passenger exited the vehicle and turned towards a deputy who was giving him loud, clear verbal commands to show his hands, the subject continued to ignore the deputy’s commands and advanced on the deputy and began reaching into his waistband as if he was reaching for a weapon.

According to the sheriff’s office, the deputy feared that the subject was reaching for a weapon, already knowing that a weapon was previously observed inside the suspect vehicle and not knowing the location of the weapon at this time.

The deputy fired at least one shot striking the subject. The subject dropped to his knees and as a deputy was moving towards the subject to place him into handcuffs the subject again reached into his waistband as if he was reaching for a weapon.

The deputy was attempting to place the subject into handcuffs and the subject was actively resisting him and still had his arm underneath him around his waistband area.

Three deputies became involved to gain control of the subject’s hands and place him into handcuffs, after he had been shot. The subject was secured in handcuffs and was searched and no weapon was located on his person. The subject was later pronounced deceased on scene.

The driver was also searched prior to being placed into the back of a patrol vehicle and a second handgun was located on his person in his clothing, as well as a screwdriver in his pants pocket.

No deputies were injured during this incident.