Greenville Co. Sheriff’s Office releases video, info from February shooting of sex crime suspect


39-year-old William Blackwell died in a deputy-involved shooting as they were serving warrants for sex crimes in Greenville County. (Photo: Greenville County Sheriff’s Office)

GREENVILLE COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) – The Greenville County Sheriff’s Office on Sunday released body camera footage and information regarding a deputy-involved shooting that happened in February.

We previously reported the deputy-involved shooting happened Feb. 18, 2021 on Gibson Oaks Drive when deputies were serving warrants for criminal sexual conduct.

According to new information released in a briefing video from the sheriff’s office, deputies were serving warrants on 39-year-old William Clayton Blackwell for 2nd degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor, 3rd degree criminal sexual conduct, incest, and child neglect.

William Blackwell (Photo: GCSO)

In the video, Greenville County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer Ryan Flood explains that Blackwell can be seen running toward the tree line with a magazine-fed rifle.

Deputies took cover and can be heard in body camera video yelling at Blackwell to drop the gun. Deputies say Blackwell fired a round and deputies saw him take a position with his rifle.

Despite commands, Blackwell continued to point his rifle at deputies, according to the sheriff’s office.

“Fearing for their safety, deputies fire at Blackwell- ultimately striking him in the process,” Flood explained in the video.

A K9 unit was used to secure the scene and first aid was rendered to Blackwell until EMS arrived. He was pronounced dead at the hospital.

SLED was called to the scene to investigate and Blackwell’s rifle was taken as evidence. No deputies were injured.

Four out of six deputies fired their weapons, according to the sheriff’s office investigation. All deputies have been cleared at this time. Returning fire was justified under Greenville County Sheriff’s Office policy, Sheriff Hobart Lewis says in the video.

SLED, the solicitor’s office and the attorney general will continue to investigate.

You can watch the full briefing video here on the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office YouTube channel. This includes body camera footage that some may find disturbing, viewer discretion is advised.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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