Bryant Heyward had about two seconds to drop the 40-caliber handgun in his hands before a Charleston County Sheriff’s deputy fired his weapon twice, critically wounding the man.
Heyward wielded the gun as he tried to defend his home and his life from a pair of intruders who had left the area before deputies Keith Tyner and Richard Powell arrived at the Hollywood home.
Powell and Tyner circled around the small Hollywood home where Heyward stepped out of a utility room on the back side of the home. Tyner shouted twice at Heyward, “Show me your hands!”
Before he finished the phrase the second time, Tyner fired his weapon twice, hitting Heyward in the neck. Heyward remains at Medical University Hospital where family attorneys say he is unable to speak or move his legs. They say the 26-year-old man is paralyzed.
In the ambulance ride to MUSC, Heyward told a detective that he should have put down his gun.
“I should have put the gun down but I didn’t,” Bryant Heyward told the detective inside the ambulance. “He thought I was the crook and shot.”
A day later, attorneys retained by Bryant Heyward’s family said their client’s statement inside the ambulance show the quality of character he has by not wanting to blame anyone but ultimately, they said, his statement doesn’t prove it was a justified shooting.
The attorneys said Monday shortly after the release of the video that they were still watching all of the footage provided by the sheriff’s office and would not make a statement until later this week.
The sheriff’s office released three discs Monday with approximately five hours of footage from Powell and Tyner’s dash cams.
Officials also released a statement saying to draw conclusions from information in the dash cam videos would be inappropriate, especially since State Law Enforcement Division agents had not completed their investigation.
“To rely solely on someone’s untrained ears and eyes to evaluate the contents of the dash cam video, to include the time period to which this very complex sequence of events occurred, would be totally unfair and inappropriate to all parties involved,” officials said.
“As you can imagine, a scene of this magnitude always tend to be very chaotic in its early stages, which is very common. To this day, I continue to pray for Bryant Heyward’s family as well as for our deputy. Now, it is time for us to allow the investigative process to run its course.”