Bodycam footage released after officer shot suspect in patrol ca - FOX Carolina 21

Bodycam footage released after officer shot suspect in patrol car trying to grab rifle

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Bodycam footage released after officer-involved shooting (Source: Pendleton PD) Bodycam footage released after officer-involved shooting (Source: Pendleton PD)
Scene of Pendleton officer-involved shooting (Aug. 3, 2017/FOX Carolina) Scene of Pendleton officer-involved shooting (Aug. 3, 2017/FOX Carolina)
PENDLETON, SC (FOX Carolina) -

The Solicitor's Office determined no charges will be filed after a deadly officer-involved shooting in the Upstate on Apr. 3.

The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division was called in to investigate after a corporal with the Pendleton Police Department opened fire at 46-year-old Joseph Antonio Hernandez.

According to investigators, the officer who responded to the scene was dispatched to a home in the 300 block of Woodland Circle regarding a domestic violence call. When the officer approached the scene, body camera footage captured a female jogger flagging him down who said a man in his underwear had chased her down the street.

The officer continued to the scene when Hernandez approached his vehicle at the intersection of Woodland and Poplar streets.

In body camera video, the officer can be heard giving Hernandez repeated commands to get on the ground after exiting his patrol car.

GRAPHIC WARNING: Police release body cam footage from Pendleton officer-involved shooting

After he ignored the orders, investigators said the officer deployed his Taser to try to stop Hernandez from gaining access to his patrol car. Hernandez, however, was able to get inside the vehicle, put it in gear and twice tried to gain access to the semi-automatic patrol rifle between the driver and passenger seat, officials said.

In the body camera video, four gunshots can be heard followed by five more gunshots after the patrol vehicle moves down the street. At the time of the incident, officials said the vehicle rolled backwards approximately 200 feet before striking a tree.

"Shots fired, shots fired," the officer can be heard saying over his radio. "He's gotten into my car."

Hernandez was killed in the gunfire, suffering four gunshot wounds including a fatal gunshot to the neck.

The Solicitor's Office determined, after reviewing SLED evidence, that the officer "fired his service weapon into the vehicle to defuse a lethal threat to both himself and the public.”

The solicitor said Hernandez was in control of two deadly weapons at the time of the incident - the officer's patrol vehicle and the rifle. DNA evidence corroborated the account that Hernandez had contact with rifle's magazine and trigger.

Due to these factors, Solicitor David Stumbo said the officers actions were no unreasonable and the case is being closed.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Coroner: Suspect dead following officer-involved shooting in Anderson Co.

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