GREER, SC (FOX Carolina) - A spokesman for the Greenville County Sheriff's Office said a deputy-involved shooting was under investigation Thursday evening. The sheriff later confirmed a suspect accused of criminal sexual conduct was killed after taking aim at deputies.
The deceased suspect was identified by the Greenville County Coroner's Office as 39-year-old William Clayton Blackwell of Greer.
According to the coroner's office, Blackwell's cause of death was a gunshot wound and his manner of death was determined to be a homicide.
Lt. Ryan Flood said at least one deputy was involved in the incident along Gibson Oaks Drive in Greer. According to Lt. Flood, four deputies are on administrative leave following the incident.
The shooting happened around 5 p.m.
Deputies were blocking the road as of 6 p.m. as the investigation unfolded.
In a press update just after 8 p.m., Sheriff Hobart Lewis provided more information. According to Lewis, deputies were trying to serve the warrant at a mobile home and tried to arrest the male suspect. However, Lewis says the suspect grabbed a gun, leading to the exchange of gunfire. While no deputies were hurt, Lewis says the suspect died after being taken to the hospital.
Lewis noted the suspect was wanted for criminal sexual conduct, and promised the release of a critical incident video with more details by April 4. He said there is no further danger to the community. A later press release from the office noted the deputies were placed on paid administrative leave while an internal investigation is ongoing, per protocol.
FOX Carolina reached out to SLED for additional information, as Lewis noted the agency has been called to investigate. Public information officer Tommy Crosby confirmed the agency is investigating, and in a further news release noted this is the eighth officer-involved shooting in South Carolina thus far in 2021. In 2020, South Carolina saw 49 similar incidents, with one involving the Greenville County Sheriff's Office.