NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) — A man involved in a traffic stop that turned into a physical altercation with a North Charleston police officer died Saturday after being shot by the officer.
According to witnesses, the suspect was pulled over by a North Charleston police officer and he pulled into the Advance Auto Parts store’s parking lot at the intersection of Craig and Remount roads. At that point, witnesses say the suspect tried to get out of his car which led to an argument. The man was shocked with a Taser and then tried to run away.
Kenneth Judy works at a muffler shop across the street where the traffic stop took place. He says everything seemed normal until the cop and the other man ran.
“I seen the cop take off chasing somebody,” said Judy.
That’s when witnesses say shots were fired in a nearby alley. Charleston County EMS took the suspect to a nearby hospital a short time later.
“And then a couple of minutes later you hear some gun shots going off right here behind the pond shop,” Judy added.
Police confirmed those details early Saturday afternoon, saying the traffic stop happened around 9:30 a.m. When the suspect ran, the officer used his Taser to try and stop the man, but it was not effective, police said.
At that point, there was a fight and the suspect tried to get control of the Taser. Police say the officer pulled his gun and fired a shot to stop the fight.
Brandon Bentley was in the car with his mom and sister when they saw the man fall.
“They had the dude all on the ground and they were pumping his heart and pumping heart trying to get him back alive but they couldn’t,” said Bentley. “It was scary man, because that’s the first time I’ve ever seen a dead body.”
The man, who has not yet been identified by the coroner’s office, died at the scene, officials said.
“This is part of the job that no one likes and wishes would never happen. This type of situation is unfortunate and difficult for everyone. We are confident that SLED will conduct a complete and thorough investigation in to the incident and provide their findings to all concerned,” said North Charleston Police Chief Eddie Driggers.
Police have shut down Remount and Craig roads for the investigation, and agents from the State Law Enforcement Division have been seen talking to witnesses.
Elder James Johnson, a community activist in the Lowcountry, arrived at the scene shortly before 1 p.m. Saturday and was seen talking with both witnesses and investigators.
Judy, says the violence has got to stop.
“There just seems to be more and more violence around this area lately, it’s sad that it’s starting to be like a normal thing,” said Judy.