A man is dead following an officer-involved shooting in Fountain Inn, South Carolina, multiple law enforcement sources have confirmed to this news outlet.
According to Thom Berry of the S.C. State Law Enforcement Division (SLED), the incident began when one of the Fountain Inn officers ran a license plate check on a vehicle and determined that the car had been reported as stolen.
“The officer made a traffic stop, at which point the suspect driver exited his vehicle and the officer exited his vehicle,” Berry told us.
A scuffle between the two ensued, with the driver – 24-year-old Chadwick Dale Martin, Jr. – getting back into his vehicle and attempting to flee the scene.
First, Martin allegedly backed the vehicle he was driving into a second Fountain Inn patrol car that had just responded to the scene – injuring that officer. Several other cars in the parking lot where the traffic stop took place were also damaged during the incident.
“The suspect vehicle then proceeded to move out – dragging the officer (along) with him,” Berry said.
As he was being dragged down the road, the officer fired his weapon at Martin – fatally wounding him.
Both of the law enforcement officers involved in this incident are white males. So was Martin, whose death was announced by the Greenville County coroner’s office.
The two officers were taken to a local hospital for the treatment of “minor injuries,” according to Berry, while the suspect was transported to Prisma Health Greenville – where he was pronounced dead at around 11:30 a.m. EDT.
An autopsy has been scheduled for April 17.
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As a matter of protocol, SLED investigates nearly all officer-involved shootings that take place in the Palmetto State – and there is legislation before the S.C. General Assembly that would standardize this protocol throughout the state.
Tuesday’s incident was the eighteenth officer-involved shooting in South Carolina this year – which is well ahead of last year’s pace (at this point in 2018 there had been fourteen such incidents).
In 2017, the Palmetto State set a new record with 49 officer involved shootings.
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