Sheriff clears deputy in fatal shooting of suicidal man - FOX Carolina 21

Sheriff clears deputy in fatal shooting of suicidal man

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Deputies respond to an officer-involved shooting on Lermann Drive. (Aug. 13, 2012/FOX Carolina) Deputies respond to an officer-involved shooting on Lermann Drive. (Aug. 13, 2012/FOX Carolina)
GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) -

A deputy has returned to work after Greenville County Sheriff Steve Loftis cleared him in the deadly shooting of a man threatening to commit suicide earlier in August.

On Aug. 13, deputies were called to 22 Lermann Dr. after family members said 50-year-old Patrick Starks was threatening suicide by overdose and then tried to assault his nephew with a baseball bat.

When deputies arrived, everyone except a woman was outside of the home, so the responding deputies rescued her from inside the home. About the same time, deputies said Starks told them he was armed with a rifle.

Loftis said deputies then went to find Starks inside his room, and after telling him not to move, Starks turned towards the deputies with his rifle. One of the deputies fired a round, hitting Starks and causing him to drop the rifle, deputies said.

Deputies ordered Starks not to move again, but he picked the rifle back up, causing the deputy to fire a second shot, fatally wounding him, according to Loftis.

Starks was taken to Greenville Memorial Hospital where he later died.

The deputy was placed on administrative leave pending Loftis' decision. He returned to work on Aug. 24 when he was cleared by Loftis, who said he had followed department protocol.

The State Law Enforcement Division also investigated the shooting, which is standard procedure for officer-involved shootings in South Carolina.

The Lermann Drive shooting was the first of two deputy-involved shootings on Aug. 13 in Greenville County.

The same day, a suspect was killed after shooting a deputy with the deputy's holstered gun at the Red Roof Inn on Laurens Road. That investigation has yet to be completed by the sheriff's office.

Copyright 2012 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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