Greenwood Police officer shot man in self defense, chief says


GREENWOOD, SC (WSPA) – One person was killed and an officer was hurt during a shooting Thursday night in Greenwood.

According to Greenwood Police Department, the shooting happened at about 9:45 p.m. on North Hospital Street.

According to Greenwood Police Chief Gerald Brooks, police were dispatched to a report of a man holding a gun on a woman.

Preliminary information is that the woman who called for police stated that the incident had happened a couple of hours previously, but that the man was “acting up again.”

Chief Brooks said the woman approached the responding officer and handed him a bullet, saying it belonged to the man.

The couple proceeded toward the front stoop of the residence, which was only a few steps away. The woman unlocked the front door, and the couple and the officer entered the living room.

Chief Brooks’ statement outlines what unfolded at the scene:

“The conversation inside was somewhat chaotic. All three were speaking at once. The officer was asking where the gun was. The man was saying he did not have a gun. The woman was insisting that he did have a gun. Due to the information provided by dispatch, the bullet the woman gave the officer, the woman’s insistence that the man had a gun, and the man’s body language and movements, the officer strongly suspected that the man had the gun somewhere on his person. The officer attempted to conduct a frisk or ‘pat down search’ for the gun. The man resisted and he and the officer struggled and fell to the floor. The man pulled a revolver from his clothing and shot the officer point blank in his chest. The officer returned fire in self-defense.”

Greenwood Police Chief Gerald Brooks

The officer was wearing soft body armor. The assailant’s bullet did not penetrate the armor but caused deep bruising to the officer’s chest, according to the Chief.

The officer was treated at a hospital and released.

“We are thankful that he survived this deadly encounter. When he is scheduled to return to work, he will be placed on administrative duty pending the outcome of the SLED investigation,” Brooks said.

He said there has not been adequate time for a complete and thorough investigation. SC Law Enforcement Division (SLED) has been called, which he states is widely accepted as a “best practice” in matters such as this.

The Greenwood County Coroner’s Office identified Willie Lee Quarles, Sr., 60, of Greenwood, as the person who was shot in the upper torso. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The coroner’s office will perform an autopsy Friday morning.

SLED and coroner’s office will continue to investigate.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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