An Upstate South Carolina dentist was shot and killed by police in the parking lot of a gentleman’s club early Friday morning, according to local law enforcement.
Matthew E. Healey, 57, of Greenville, S.C. was shot and killed at approximately 12:45 a.m. EDT on Friday morning (September 15, 2023) outside of The Trophy Club – an adult entertainment establishment located at 450 Airport Road in Greenville – according to county coroner Park Evans Jr.
According to the office of sheriff Hobart Lewis, deputies of the Greenville County sheriff’s office and the Greenville police department were dispatched to the club shortly after 12:40 a.m. EDT upon receiving reports of a male subject firing shots in the parking lot.
Initial reports indicate Healey was carrying “multiple weapons” at the time of the shooting and disregarded law enforcement’s commands to drop his weapons.
During law enforcement’s response, at least one deputy and one officer discharged their firearms – with Healey being struck at least once.
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Healey was transported to Prisma Health Greenville Memorial but “succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead” at approximately 1:20 a.m. EDT – less than an hour after police received the call to respond to the club.
An autopsy on Healey was being performed on Friday.
No officers or deputies were injured during the incident, nor were any patrons at the club.
According to his online biography, Healey had been “providing top quality dental care to patients in the Greenville area since 1992.” A native of Greenville and graduate of Bob Jones University, he received his dental degree from the Medical University of South Carolina in 1992 – graduating at the top of his class.
Healey also served two terms on the board of directors of the Greenville Free Medical Clinic, according to his bio.
Just last month, Healey posted an online advertisement for his office in Taylors, S.C.
“Laid back office with great pay,” he wrote.
Healey enjoyed “fishing, family and local church activities,” his biography stated.
While things seemed normal on the surface, all was apparently not well behind the scenes. To wit: Healey was arrested on December 30, 2022 on drug charges and a “malicious injury” charge. This news outlet has submitted Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests in the hopes of obtaining additional information on what precipitated those charges.
The first indictments against Healey in connection with his December 2022 arrest were returned on January 9, 2023. Three weeks later, the state dentistry board – a division of the S.C. Department of Labor Licensing and Regulation (SCLLR) – issued an order (.pdf) announcing it had probable cause to “temporarily suspend (Healey) from the practice of dentistry.”
As with nearly all such shootings involving law enforcement, this incident will be investigated by the S.C. State Law Enforcement Division (SLED).
“SLED is investigating an officer involved shooting in Greenville County,” the agency’s public information director Renée Wunderlich confirmed. “More details will be available in a forthcoming news release.”
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.
Officer-involved shootings in South Carolina are trending back up this year. According to SLED, this was the 27th officer-involved shooting so far in 2023 – compared to 32 reported during the entirety of 2022. By contraster, there were 40 officer-involved shootings in 2021 – down from a record of 49 set in 2017 (and matched in 2020).
UPDATE | New information on the shooting …
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.
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