After getting into a fight with a suspect driving a stolen car Tuesday, a South Carolina police officer shot and killed the person while being dragged by the vehicle, said the State Law Enforcement Division, or SLED.
The officer-involved shooting occurred about 10 a.m., when a Fountain Inn police officer pulled over a car that was listed as stolen, SLED spokesman Thom Berry said in an interview with The State.
Berry said the suspect, who was the only occupant in the car, stopped in a parking lot. When the officer approached, the suspect got out and the two began to fight, according to Berry. The suspect was later identified as Chadwick Dale Martin Jr. by the Greenville County Coroner’s Office.
The 24-year-old Fountain Inn resident then returned to the stolen vehicle, pulled forward over a parking barrier, then backed up and collided with another Fountain Inn patrol car that had responded to the incident, Berry said.
As Martin put the car back into drive and began pulling out of the parking lot, the first officer was “hanging on the door and was dragged a short distance” before firing into the vehicle and “striking the suspect,” Berry said.
Berry said the car continued to roll a couple of hundred yards before coming to rest on a chain-link fence. The officers provided medical treatment to Martin, who was taken to an area hospital and pronounced dead, according to Berry.
An autopsy is scheduled for Wednesday, according to the Coroner’s Office.
Both officers were taken to another area hospital, where they treated for minor injuries and released, Berry said.
A witness said she heard “three or four shots,” and saw people screaming as they ran from a Bojangles restaurant across the street from the shooting, WYFF reported. A reporter for the TV station said the driver’s side window was shattered and bullet holes were visible on the car.
No information was available on whether Martin had a weapon.
The incident is the 18th officer-involved shooting of 2019 in South Carolina, according to Berry, who said SLED is leading the investigation.