The incident took place in front of Gary’s Hamburgers on Georgia Avenue in downtown North Augusta.
“We are on scene of a shooting incident downtown North Augusta,” a Facebook post from the agency noted, urging residents to avoid the area.
Preliminary reports from our network of law enforcement sources indicate there is no danger to the community in the aftermath of the shooting and that all suspects tied to the incident are in police custody. One North Augusta public safety officer was hospitalized for a leg wound sustained during the shooting, but he is expected to make a full recovery.
“NADPS appreciates the never-ending prayers and support we get from the citizens of North Augusta,” a statement from the agency noted.
“North Augusta public safety has requested SLED to investigate an officer involved shooting,” SLED spokesman Ryan Alphin told me Thursday evening. “SLED Agents and crime scene (assets) are en route. There is no additional information to provide at this time.”
The North Augusta incident is the 36th officer-involved shooting in South Carolina so far this year. In 2020, there were 49 such incidents – tying a record set back in 2017.
SLED investigates officer-involved shootings as a matter of protocol in the vast majority of local law enforcement jurisdictions in the Palmetto State – presenting independent, investigative reports to the solicitor with jurisdiction over the county or municipality where the shooting transpired.
“SLED’s goal is to conduct a thorough, independent criminal investigation as timely as is possible under the circumstances,” a release from the agency noted. “SLED agents will conduct interviews with all potential witnesses in this matter. Further, SLED will collect all relevant evidence and will forensically test such evidence as needed.”
All of this information is then “summarized in a case file report … submitted to prosecutors.”
Upon receiving this report, the solicitor with jurisdiction over the county or municipality where the shooting took place – in this case, S.C. second circuit solicitor Bill Weeks – makes a determination as to whether the officer(s) involved acted properly in discharging their weapons.
SLED also typically issues arrest warrants in connection with the suspects who are involved in officer-involved shootings so as to avoid the appearance of any conflicts of interest.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR …
Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and seven children. And yes, he has LOTS of hats (including that Chicago Blackhawks’ lid pictured above).
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