Driver Charged In Greenville Co. Deputy Involved Shooting - WSPA.com

Driver Charged In Greenville Co. Deputy Involved Shooting

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Jordan Franklin Browder, 22 Jordan Franklin Browder, 22
Dylan Lamar Tiller, 21 Dylan Lamar Tiller, 21
Facebook photo courtesy Leah McCall Facebook photo courtesy Leah McCall
Vehicle being towed away from scene. Vehicle being towed away from scene.
PIEDMONT, S.C. - The autopsy of the man shot to death by a Greenville County deputy at a gas station Monday morning shows he died from multiple gunshot wounds to the torso.

The Greenville County Coroner’s Office is not releasing how many times 22-year-old Jordan Franklin Browder of Piedmont was shot.

The toxicology reports won’t be done for another month.

Now his family wants answers.

"Our main goal is to get to the bottom of this and get closure on this for his family, for his children when they grow up and start asking, 'Where's my daddy?'" said Browder’s stepfather, James Howard.

Deputies were called to the Citgo Corner Mart at 1625 Piedmont Highway at 6:25 a.m. on Monday. A 911 caller said two men had been unconscious in a Ford Expedition at a fuel pump for two hours.

The first deputy on the scene reported the driver of the Ford had a gun in his lap. He called in five more deputies for back-up.

Greenville County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer Jonathan Smith said deputies gave loud voice commands for the two men to get out of the vehicle.

The driver woke up and got out. Deputies handcuffed him, then searched him and found he had a gun and a screwdriver.

Dylan Lamar Tiller, 21, was later charged with unlawful carrying of a pistol, sale/delivery and possession of a stolen pistol, manufacture/distribution of methamphetamine and financial transaction card theft.  He’s being held at the Greenville County Detention Center on $40.000 bond.

Smith said the passenger, Browder, resisted at first, then got out of the car, but ignored deputies' commands to show his hands.

That's when 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.

Smith said it then took three deputies to cuff Browder, who continued to fight back even after he was shot.

He died less than 15 minutes later.

It turns out, Browder was unarmed. Smith said while there was a second gun in the car, Browder did not have a gun on him.

The Greenville County Coroner Parks Evans said, from the evidence he’s seen, the Sheriff’s Office’s account of what happened adds up. He said the evidence shows Jordan Browder was standing up when the deputy shot him, not sitting down inside the car. While Parks said he cannot go into specifics about the evidence leading up to this new update, he said, generally, the paths of the bullets are good indicators of a body’s position.

“A lot of times, we can put the subjects right back in the positions they were in when they received the shots just by knowing where the shots were fired from and the paths they took through the body themselves,” said Evans.

Evans said he did not look at any surveillance video of the shooting as part of his investigation.

The Sheriff’s Office won’t say whether it has surveillance video from the Citgo station or dash cam video. The manager of the Citgo station said investigators do have their surveillance video.

Browder's family lives a mile-and-a-half away from that Citgo station, but they can't bring themselves to drive past it.

"Right now, I just don't think that we could emotionally handle it. So we just go the other way and we avoid it," said Howard.

Howard said Browder and his wife have a 2-year-old son and were expecting the birth of their second child next month.

"She's 20 years old and she's a widow. Nobody deserves that. Nobody," said Howard.

Howard said he finds it hard to believe the sheriff's office's claim that it took three officers to subdue his stepson, even after the deputy shot him.

“Jordan was 5'6 and 125 pounds. I could subdue him on my own," said Howard.

Howard also questions whether, after just waking up, his stepson was with it enough to follow deputies' orders.

“It's not easy receiving orders as soon as you wake up. It's not. Everybody's groggy. If it was drug induced, I’m sure there were other things that were going through his mind. And I’m sure that he was scared," said Howard.

Smith said the sheriff’s office will not respond to those concerns until the department’s internal investigation wraps up.

Howard said, while his stepson made mistakes in the past that got him in trouble with the law, his family deserves to know whether something went wrong here.

“I've never had a problem with police, said Howard. “But I also understand that mistakes are made. And if there was a mistake made, whoever made the mistake needs to pay -- needs to pay dearly.”

The Greenville County Sheriff's Office's deadly force policy outlines three elements to justify a deputy's use of deadly force: ability, opportunity and jeopardy. The suspect has to be able to kill, be close enough to someone to do it, and indicate he or she is about to do it.

The deputy who shot Browder is on administrative duty, which is standard protocol in these cases.

The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division is investigating. SLED will provide a report to the 13th Circuit Solicitor’s Office with the facts of what happened. The solicitor's office will use that information to decide whether to charge the deputy. The solicitor's office can also choose to hand the case off to another solicitor’s office or the Attorney General’s office.
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Jenna Troum
Jenna is a general assignment reporter covering Greenville, Pickens and Laurens Counties.
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