There were two officer-involved shootings in South Carolina yesterday – one in Colleton County that resulted in a suspect being shot and killed and another in Charleston County that resulted in a suspect being wounded.
The latter incident was spillover from a bank robbery in Pawleys Island, S.C.
We did a little digging on the robbery suspect – Richard Edward Inman of Laurens, S.C. – and found some very interesting information.
It turns our Inman is a former law enforcement officer. For two years (from 2009-2011), he served as chief of police in Williamston, S.C. – a small town of around 4,200 located in Anderson County.
Inman was forced to resign from this post in August 2011 after the town’s mayor called him out for posting racially insensitive material on social media. Specifically, Inman posted a picture of a portable toilet dubbed a “Mexican spaceship.”
After he lost his job, things went downhill for Inman. He allegedly struggled with finances, substance abuse and the passing of his father.
In June of 2017, he robbed a Bank of America branch in Simpsonville, S.C. – using what appears to be an identical modus operandi to the one employed on Friday at a Bank of America branch in Pawleys Island.
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In the 2017 robbery, Inman presented a note to a bank teller claiming he was armed and demanding money – but did not produce a weapon. The teller provided Inman with an undisclosed amount of cash.
That is precisely what is alleged to have occurred in Pawleys Island on Friday afternoon.
Inman fled into neighboring Georgia following his 2017 robbery but was captured four days later. Last September, he pleaded guilty to entering a financial institution with “intent to steal” as well as robbery while armed or “allegedly armed” with a deadly weapon.
He received a fifteen year suspended sentence.
The mayor who fired him in 2011, Carthel Crout, said Inman’s 2017 bank robbery was a “cry for help.”
“He had this brain tumor which they removed, and he was never the same after that,” the mayor told WYFF TV 4 (NBC – Greenville, S.C.).
Obviously a former police chief robbing a bank is quite the attention-grabber, with Inman’s story even getting picked up by The New York Times.
What happened to Inman after he received his suspended sentence is not immediately clear, but a month-and-a-half ago he posted on his Facebook page that he had been “clean and serene” for ninety days – indicating he may have been continuing to struggle with substance abuse.
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Inman was transported to the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) in Charleston, S.C. in the aftermath of Friday’s officer-involved shooting – which reportedly involved deputies of the Georgetown County sheriff’s office and the Charleston County sheriff’s office.
No word yet on his condition …
As with nearly all officer-involved shootings in the Palmetto State, the S.C. State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) is leading the investigation into this incident.
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