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Officer-involved shootings on the rise in South Carolina

From our News Partners at WCBD-TV:

  "I hear gunshots and then some sirens, woke up, looked out and there were cop cars everywhere," Sandra Bond told WJBF Monday morning.

 What she saw were numbers 19 and 20 on the official count of officer-involved shootings for 2014.

 That makes two in one day and News 2 learned that there was one in Charleston Saturday night. However, Charleston Police refuse to provide any details on where that shooting happened and the State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) has not confirmed that they are investigating.

 It is typical protocol that all incidents involving an officer are investigated by SLED.

 Monday's shootings began early in the morning.

 A Greenville County deputy shot and killed a man at a gas station on Piedmont Highway, when Greenville County Sheriff's Office Public Information Officer Jonathan Smith said, he ignored deputies' commands to show his hands and things escalated.

 "He comes out and advances on our deputy, reaching toward his waistband, making those movements as if he was going to retrieve a firearm -- placed our officer in jeopardy. At that point, he took action and did what he did in fear of his safety and the other deputies around him as well," said Smith.

 That man allegedly continued fighting even after he was shot and he eventually died, although deputies found he was unarmed.

 Fatal officer-involved shootings are on the rise in South Carolina, more than tripling between 2009 and 2013, according to SLED stats. In 2009, there were 27 officer-involved shootings statewide, five of them fatal. Compare that to 2013, when there were 42 officer-involved shootings and 18 were deadly. There have been 20 officer-involved shootings in the state so far this year, including another fatal shooting Monday morning in Aiken County.

 "We heard a gunshot. We didn't hear but just one gunshot," said Aiken County resident Debbie Weber.

 The Aiken County Sheriff's office says 52-year-old Deborah McCollum was threatening to commit suicide. She allegedly confronted deputies with a gun and that's when the sheriff's office said Deputy Christopher Salley shot and killed the woman.

 Both deputies in Monday's shootings are off of patrol pending an investigation.

Photo Credit: zimmytws Shutterstock

 

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