Richard Cline

Richard Cline. (Source: SCSO)

SPARTANBURG, SC (FOX Carolina) – The SC Law Enforcement Division said their agency has filed charges against the man accused of firing a rifle at deputies.

According to Spartanburg County Sheriff Chuck Wright, the incident began around 3:15 a.m. on Feb. 21 along Sunnyglenn Drive in the Greer area.

Sheriff Wright said deputies were initially called about a domestic disturbance in which a female victim was able to escape an armed man and get to a neighbor’s residence to call 911.

The suspect, identified are Richard Derrick Cline, fled in a Chevy Impala as deputies were arriving. Wright said deputies tried to pull the vehicle over and a short chase ensued.

Eventually, Wright said Cline got out of the car and fired a rifle at deputies.

A foot chase followed and more shots were exchanged.

The deputies returned fire and struck Cline in the hand.

Cline dropped the rifle and fell down an embankment. Deputies were then able to give verbal commands and arrest Wright without further incident.

Cline was taken to the hospital, where Wright said they discovered drugs on his person.

Wright said two deputies were involved in the shooting and were both placed on leave, pending the outcome of the investigation.

SLED is investigating the shooting.

 “I’m very pleased with how the officers handled this,” Wright said, noting that he felt the deputies acted accordingly and used the minimum amount of force to neutralize the suspect.

Deputies charged Cline with domestic violence second degree and the sheriff said Cline is expected to face at least two counts of attempted murder, weapons charges, and drug a drug offense upon his release from the hospital.

Deputies said a juvenile was also in the home on Sunnyglenn Drive and was not hurt during the initial incident.

Wright revealed Cline spent several years in federal prison.

According to online records, Cline pleaded guilty to one count of possession with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of crack cocaine and one count of felon in possession of firearms in federal court in 2008. He went to prison in 2009 and was released in January 2018.

On March 4, SLED announced that Cline had also been charged with one count each of pointing and presenting a firearm along with possession of a weapon by a person convicted of a violent crime.

SLED said this was the eighth officer involved shooting in the state since 2019 and the first this year involving Spartanburg County. 

Copyright 2019 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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