POWDERSVILLE/BEREA – Following a burglary and chase which began in Anderson County, Zachary Scott Whitfield, 25, of Greenville, was shot by Greenville County Sheriff’s deputies after a two hour standoff in the Berea area Tuesday. The incident began with a burglary call in Powdersville which resulted in a chase that ended in Berea.
Anderson County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to a residence on Mount Airy Church Road in Powdersville in which a woman reported arriving home to find a burglar leaving, according to Anderson County Sheriff’s spokesman Chad McBride.
At approximately 2:40 pm the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office and South Carolina Highway Patrol were in pursuit of a dark color Ford Explorer. The pursuit left Anderson County and entered Greenville County.
The Greenville County Sheriff’s Office did not become actively involved in the pursuit but were available to assist Anderson County and the Highway Patrol if need be, according to Master Deputy Jennings Autrey of the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office.
The pursuit ended in front of the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) office located at 15 Saluda Dam Rd. in Berea.
More than two dozen officers from three agencies responded and surrounded Whitfield at the agency.
According to reports, Whitfield refused to exit the vehicle and showed deputies and patrolmen on scene that he was in possession of a handgun. The SWAT Team was activated to assist in a peaceful resolution. When deputies deployed a “non-lethal device” Whitfield fired at deputies. Deputies then returned fire. Whitfield was transported to Greenville Memorial Hospital where he died at 5:40 p.m. after receiving treatment, officials said.
Seven deputies who returned fire have been placed on Administrative Duty and the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) has been called in to investigate the shooting incident. The Office of Professional Standards is also investigating to ensure that policy and procedures were followed by deputies on scene, Autrey said. The actions are standard procedure for deputy involved shootings. No deputies were injured in the incident.