Police said the shooting happened along N. Brown Street in downtown Greenville. (Nov. 18, 2012/FOX Carolina)
GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) -
One person was killed during an officer-involved shooting early Sunday morning in Greenville.
Greenville police said it happened about 12:40 a.m. along North Brown Street.
In a release from the police department, authorities said an officer witnessed a man assaulting another person with a baseball bat. They said officers ordered the man to drop the bat several times. They said the man the charged at the officers, forcing one of them to fire.
Police said the man died from his injuries. Greenville County Coroner Barry Wright identified him as 19-year-old Senovio Pedro Maldonado, of Easley.
Police said Maldonado turned away from a bar and that as he was pulling out of a parking lot on Brown Street he swiped someone. They said words were exchanged when Maldonado pulled out a bat and started beating the person in the street.
When officers approached, they said Maldonado refused to put the bat down and then began charging the officers.
"They gave him an opportunity to drop it and he decided to charged the officers," said Greenville Police Chief Terri Wilfong. "The officers were put in a situation where they didn't have a choice because then their life is threatened."
But family and friends paint a different picture of Maldonado, who was a new father, and how they feel the situation could have been handled.
"They could have gotten a leg and arm with the bat, whatever," Maldonado's mother Dorothy Franco told FOX Carolina on Sunday. "They didn't have to go straight for the kill. They simply murdered my son in cold blood and I don't care what nobody says. Regardless if he [was] charged, they could have handled it differently."
A friend who was with Maldonado at the time of the shooting said he did not charge officers and things did not play out as police have said.
The man police said Maldonado beat with the bat was released from the hospital Monday. He suffered non-life-threatening injuries, according to police.
"It's a bad situation all the way around; wish it didn't happen," said Wilfong. "Wish the individual would have made different choices and we wouldn't be where we are at today. It's a horrible situation for everyone."
An autopsy revealed that Maldonado was shot twice - once in his chest and once on his left side. Investigators said the positions of the wounds match with officers' statements, saying that Maldonado turned toward them. They said toxicology tests will take up to six weeks to complete.
On Monday, Greenville police said the two officers involved had 25 years and eight years of experience respectively.
The State Law Enforcement Division was investigating the shooting.
Copyright 2012 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All Rights Reserved.
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