SLED report tracks number of officer-involved shootings - FOX Carolina 21

SLED report tracks number of officer-involved shootings

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SLED report shows number of officer-involved shootings. (FOX Carolina/ Feb. 16, 2016) SLED report shows number of officer-involved shootings. (FOX Carolina/ Feb. 16, 2016)

Law enforcement officers say when they get a call, they respond.

"Police are in the life-saving business," Major Art Littlejohn said.

He's an investigator with the Spartanburg Police Department. 

"Usually when we're called to a scene, it's not because people are having a good day," Littlejohn said.

He said that's when an officer's training kicks in.

"We try to train officers to make the right decisions at all times, but things happen on a split second," he said.

According to a new South Carolina Law Enforcement Division report, South Carolina had 48 officer-involved shootings last year. It's the highest numbers since they've kept record which started in 1999. SLED investigators say the report also shows more people pulled guns on officers which played a role in those shootings.

"Our training is going to continue to be the same. We train to deal with whatever happens at the time," Littlejohn said.

Investigators with the Spartanburg Police Department have had three officer-involved shootings since 2010.

"We had one back where the officer was shot first and then they returned fire," he said. "During another incident, one officer was beside the car and was dragged down the street."

And the other incident Littlejohn said an officer responded to a 911 call at the Canaan Pointe Apartment Complex.

"When they got into the house there was a male sitting on top of a female stabbing her. He stabbed her several times and that's when the officer fired to try and save her life," he said.

Katrina Sova died from those stab wounds and the suspect, Donte Noble died too after the officer fired shots.

"Depending on what the suspect does when the officer is called to the scene is how we respond," Littlejohn said.

The report includes a break down of the number of officer-involved shootings last year by agencies as well as the offenses. Here are the numbers from the Upstate which include county and city agencies:

Greenville County- 4

Spartanburg County- 4

Oconee County- 1

Anderson County-1

The SLED report also shows of the 48 shootings, one officer was killed and 19 suspects were killed.

Investigators with the Spartanburg Police Department follow what's called a response to resistance policy. Depending on the situation, investigators are expected to go through a series of commands which include warnings, persuasion, hand control, or pepper spray before using deadly force.

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