ANDERSON COUNTY, SC (WSPA) – Anderson County Sheriff’s Office confirmed K-9 Roscoe was killed by friendly fire during a deputy-involved shooting Tuesday night.
The incident began in Anderson County when deputies were chasing a reckless vehicle before calling off the chase when it entered the city of Anderson.
A short time later, deputies were notified that the vehicle had crashed into a cab along Clemson Boulevard.
The sheriff’s office said two suspects ran from their car with a bag, and deputies then attempted to use K-9 Roscoe to track the two suspects.
As K-9 Roscoe was leading deputies up a nearby hill they realized Roscoe had engaged the suspects. Coroner Greg Shore said deputies then heard a female suspect scream and a shot fired.
Shore said after deputies saw the silhouette of the male suspect and muzzle flash they returned fire.
In the exchange, 22-year-old suspect Bryan Keith Hamilton Jr. and K9 Roscoe were killed.
Following an autopsy, it was revealed Hamilton had actually fired the gun at himself and died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was also shot three times by deputies. The 16-year-old female suspect was also shot and was taken to Prisma Health in unknown condition.
Shore confirmed K-9 Roscoe was a victim of friendly-fire in the exchange.
“We’ve lost a K-9 that was so valuable to our community it just breaks my heart,” said Coroner Greg Shore.
Prior to entering the woods, Sheriff Chad McBride, said deputies yelled multiple times for anyone in the woods to give themselves up before they went in.
Deputies then began on the K9 track that led them to a steep, dark, poorly lit area with multiple levels of elevation.
Sheriff McBride said at one point, deputies could not see K9 Roscoe engaged with the suspects due to the elevation, and deputies called out for the suspect to show yourself. Sheriff McBride reiterated deputies then spotted the suspect, saw muzzle flash and opened fire.
“This was a combat-style situation where deputies returned fire, believing that they were being fired upon, in just mere seconds. In that moment in time, my deputies would have no reason to think anything else other than they were being ambushed,” said Sheriff McBride.
SLED continues to investigate the shooting.
“This was a cause and effect situation. Ultimately the result of the suspect’s actions,” concluded Sheriff McBride.