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Crime & Courts

SLED Investigating A Trio Of Officer-Involved Shootings

Two of them involving fatalities …

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Investigators with the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) have their hands full these days as they look into a trio of separate officer-involved shootings. The incidents took place in Greenwood, McCormick and Lee counties – all within the past week.

The three shootings put the Palmetto State on pace to eclipse last year’s total for such incidents, reversing several years of declines.

The first incident happened in Greenwood, S.C. last Wednesday (June 14, 2023). According to SLED, officers with the Greenwood police department responded to a report of a person brandishing a handgun. When officers arrived at the scene, an armed 17-year-old male fled from them. During the pursuit, there was an exchange of gunfire, according to SLED.

Thankfully, no one was injured in that incident. After initially evading capture, the man was later discovered by deputies of the Greenwood County sheriff’s office in a nearby U-Haul trailer. He was arrested and charged with unlawful possession of a handgun by a person under eighteen and discharging a firearm in the city. 

SLED is investigating that shooting at the request of the Greenwood police department. The suspect’s charges will be handled by the office of S.C. eighth circuit solicitor David Stumbo.



The next incident took place on Sunday morning (June 18, 2023) at approximately 7:40 a.m. EDT when calls regarding a suspicious person sent McCormick County sheriff’s deputies racing to Greenfield Road and Mears Lane just north of Plum Branch, S.C.. Upon arriving at this location, a suspect opened fire on a deputy – who returned fire.

Both the deputy and the suspect – later identified as 20-year-old Obed Barba of Plum Branch – were wounded in the shooting. Barba succumbed to this wounds and was pronounced dead at the scene.

The deputy was hospitalized with his wounds but is expected to make a full recovery.

(Click to View)

Obed Barba (Facebook)

The third incident occurred on Sunday afternoon in Lee County. According to SLED, Lee County deputies were dispatched to a home on Piedmont road just west of Bishopville, S.C. regarding an alleged domestic assault involving an armed male subject. When deputies arrived at the scene, there was an exchange of gunfire. One deputy was shot in the leg, while the suspect – later identified as 27-year-old Marquis Griffin – was shot and died at the scene.

The injured deputy was transported to the hospital for treatment. There is no formal update on his status, but Lee County sheriff Daniel Simon told WPDE TV-15 (ABC – Florence/ Myrtle Beach) the deputy is “expected to be okay.”

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 took place.

The three recent shootings bring to 18 the total number of officer-involved shootings in the Palmetto State so far this year. If such incidents continue at the current pace, they could surpass the 32 such shootings in the Palmetto State reported in 2022.   There were 40 officer-involved shootings in 2021 – down from a record of 49 set in 2017 (and matched in 2020).



Mark Powell (Provided)

J. Mark Powell is an award-winning former TV journalist, government communications veteran, and a political consultant. He is also an author and an avid Civil War enthusiast. Got a tip or a story idea for Mark? Email him at



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1 comment

Wondering June 20, 2023 at 3:40 am

Why no mention of the one by Neon Leon’s men?


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