Sheriff: Man killed in officer-involved shooting hit deputies wi - FOX Carolina 21

Sheriff: Man killed in officer-involved shooting hit deputies with car one week earlier

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Bernard Brandon Powers died from multiple gunshot wounds after an officer-involved shooting, according to authorities. (Credit: Family) Bernard Brandon Powers died from multiple gunshot wounds after an officer-involved shooting, according to authorities. (Credit: Family)
TAYLORS, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Greenville County Sheriff Steve Loftis said Tuesday that a Simpsonville man who was killed by deputies returning gunfire early Sunday had struck deputies with a car just a week earlier while trying to elude arrest.

Greenville County Coroner Parks Evans said Bernard Brandon Powers, 23, died of multiple gunshot wounds at 159 Carver Road in Taylors where there was an exchange of gun fire. 

A deputy was also grazed by bullets during the shootout, which Loftis said Powers initiated.

Loftis said the incident stemmed from an alarm call deputies received from another address on Carver Road.

While deputies were en route, they encountered a car parked illegally in the middle of the road. As deputies passed by the car, Loftis said a man inside slumped down in the seat to hide from deputies and another man could be seen leaning into the drivers' side window of the vehicle.

Deputies decided to stop and speak with the driver.

Deputies found drugs, ammunition and drug paraphernalia inside the car and charged the driver, Jarod Wilson, with possession of cocaine with intent to distribute and possession of drug paraphernalia.

When they approached the vehicle, Loftis said the man outside the vehicle ran off on foot in the direction of 159 Carver Road.

While inspecting the vehicle, deputies found a gun on the ground near where the man was standing. Deputies found paperwork in the car identifying the man who ran off as Donnie Murray.

Deputies knocked on the door at 159 Carver Road and were denied entry. They smelled marijuana and obtained a warrant to search the building, which was occupied by about 25 people, Loftis said.. 

While executing the search warrant, Loftis said Powers exited the building and opened fire on deputies. One deputy was grazed by two bullets and four deputies returned fire.

Loftis said Powers fired the shot that hit the deputy and died at the scene when deputies returned fire. Another person hit by gunfire received care from deputies before they were transported to the hospital. Loftis said the deputy's actions likely saved the victim's life.

Loftis said the bullets that grazed the deputy passed through his shirt and pants without harming the deputy.

“Our lord and savior Jesus Christ had his arms wrapped around the deputy to prevent him from getting seriously hurt," Loftis said.

Loftis also revealed that Powers had assaulted deputies during an encounter on White Horse Road a week earlier.

Deputies found Powers asleep in a vehicle while responding to a disturbance call. When they woke him up, Loftis said Powers slung the car into reverse and struck two deputies with the open car door. Another deputy tried to chase him down but lost sight of Powers. The vehicle Powers was driving ahd also been reported stolen out of Spartanburg County, Loftis said.

Loftis said Powers, a convicted state and federal felon, was wanted for parole violation.

Deputies also filed several charges against him after the White Horse Road incident, including aggravated assault and battery, resisting arrest, failure to stop for blue light, reckless driving, and felon is possession of a firearm.

The S.C. Law Enforcement Division is investigating the shooting, as well as the Greenville County Sheriff's Office. 

Neighbors said the building where the shooting took place is a spot where people gather to cook out, watch football and play pool.

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