Crime & Courts

Richmond Co. | Columbia Co. | Aiken Co. |

Report adds details on police shooting

Friday, Dec. 23, 2011 11:59 AM
Last updated Saturday, Dec. 24, 2011 12:57 AM
  • Follow Aiken

The death of Aiken Master Pub­lic Safety Officer Scotty Richard­son is not a murder mystery. There is no whodunit. Police have warrants against the suspect, Stephon M. Carter of Aiken, who was captured at the scene after being wounded by police.

Back | Next
Carter  Special
Special
Carter


But the South Carolina Law En­force­ment Division still has a puzzle to solve.

The mystery is how it all went down. What led to the shootout? How many officers fired their weapons? Which officer wounded the suspect? And ultimately, how could the 19-year-old suspect get the drop on three armed police officers, shooting two before they could react?

Aiken Public Safety Sgt. Aaron Dowdy said that as soon as SLED became involved – standard procedure when an officer is shot – the investigation was out of the hands of Aiken officials.

“I’m just as eager as anyone to know what exactly happened that night, but we have to wait on SLED to finish their job first,” he said Friday.

The timeline on that investigation is open-ended, said SLED spokeswoman Kathryn Richard­son. County Coroner Tim Carlton said his report wouldn’t be ready for at least another week.

New information released Fri­day has shed some light on the events that evening, which began about 20 minutes earlier on Teague Street in north Aiken.

According to a police report, Offi­cer Travis Griffin was called to an address in the 700 block of Teague Street at about 9 p.m. to investigate a report of shots being fired.

He spoke to several people at the address who were uncooperative and gave little information. The complainant, an Augusta woman whose name was redacted from the report, told Griffin she was in the home’s front yard when she heard two gunshots. She looked up and saw a black Chevrolet Impala speeding away with Carter behind the wheel.

According to the report, Griffin made sure “everyone was OK” before leaving.

A few minutes later, Griffin had stopped the Impala at Pace’s Run apartments on Brandt Court, about a mile and a half away.

A police report said Carter had stepped from his vehicle and was standing at the back of his car, talking to three officers: Griffin, Richardson and Sgt. Tracy Seymour.

Dowdy said he wouldn’t want to speculate on why the officers didn’t already have their weapons drawn even though there had just been a report of shots being fired with the Impala nearby.

“My understanding is that when things went bad, they went bad fast,” he said.

Before officers could react, the report said, Carter pulled a pistol and shot Grif­fin in the chest. He was saved from serious injury by his bullet-proof vest. Carter then fired a fatal shot at Richardson, the report said.

Police said Carter was shot and apprehended by other officers who arrived at the scene. Dowdy said two other officers got there almost immediately and pursued Carter, who was caught in a field behind two apartment buildings near the complex office.

Dowdy said at least three officers returned fire, and the shot that took down Carter was fired from some distance away.

Carter is being treated at Medi­cal College of Georgia Hos­pital. After his release, he will be arrested and held by the Richmond Coun­ty Sheriff’s Office while he awaits extradition to South Caro­li­na, officials said.

Though Carter had passengers in his car, no others were arrested at the scene.

“There were more people in the car with Carter, but I don’t know how many,” Dowdy said. “My understanding is that they stayed put.”

FUNERAL ARRANGEMENTS

The funeral for Aiken Master Public Safety Officer Scotty Richardson will be at noon Tuesday at the University of South Carolina Aiken Convocation Center. Burial will follow in Historic Bethany Cemetery.

The family will receive friends from 5-8 p.m. Monday at Shellhouse-Rivers Funeral Home, 715 E. Pine Log Road.

A prayer vigil is planned for Monday outside the Aiken Public Safety Department, but a time has not been set.

Memorial contributions can be made to the Edward Scott Richardson Children’s Fund, Savannah River Banking Co., 407 Silver Bluff Road SW, Aiken, SC 29803.

The online guest registry is available at shellhouseriversfuneralhome.com.

Comments (11) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
kiwiinamerica
986
Points
kiwiinamerica 12/23/11 - 01:33 pm
0
0
From the
Unpublished

From the article.....>>"According to the report, Carter was standing at the back of his vehicle talking with Travis, Richardson and another officer when he pulled a gun and began shooting. "<<

Was "standing at the back of his vehicle talking...........??" Whoa!!!

This is a guy who's suspected of having fired shots and is believed to possess a weapon?? He should have been spreadeagled on the ground, patted down and any weapons confiscated as well as being cuffed before being questioned.

Big, big mistake!!

David Parker
7923
Points
David Parker 12/23/11 - 03:52 pm
0
0
senseless. :(

senseless. :(

TK3
562
Points
TK3 12/23/11 - 06:39 pm
0
0
Not sure of their procedure

Not sure of their procedure but one hand on holstered gun should be !
Evidently the kid got the draw on the officers. Officers should learn not only to hit the target but to be quick on the-draw because you never know.
Condolences to Richardson's family.

itsanotherday
0
Points
itsanotherday 12/23/11 - 07:13 pm
0
0
I would like for a LEO to
Unpublished

I would like for a LEO to weigh in here with a reality check. I watch a lot of the reality based cop shows, and it seems to me that it is SOP to treat someone suspected of having fired shots, or brandishing a gun, very carefully. As in, approach with weapons drawn; have them exit the vehicle showing hands, then spread eagle on the ground for cuffing.
I hesitate to second guess due to the tragic ending, but getting some education on the process would be useful.

notsurprised
88
Points
notsurprised 12/23/11 - 08:07 pm
0
0
There really is not much to

There really is not much to weigh in on this one. I can tell you that anytime you get a report of shots fired by a certain person in a certain vehicle, you approach that vehicle with extreme caution. This extreme caution consists of several things.

1. back up from other officer(s)
2. once the vehicle is stopped, you secure your position in a safe place (typically behind the drivers side door)
3. gun drawn, safety off
4. order all persons in the vehicle to exit slowly with hands in the air walking backwards- typically one at a time.
5. secure and check each person for contraband. Then and only then do you begin asking questions and searching vehicle.

Again, this is done with the assistance of multiple officers. There is really no way to know exactly what took place here, but if a guess had to be made, mr carter was standing at the back of the vehicle and immediately began firing when approached by the officers. I feel sure that if these officers had an opportunity to do this again, they would have done things differently. But, as any LEO knows, things often happen very fast and suddenly. You don't always react the proper, correct way. Just like any job in any industry, everyone makes mistakes. The difference is, the slight mistake of an LEO could cost him/ her their life. This is a very sad situation. I
cant imagine what this family is enduring right now. I pray for each of them. May God be with them.

Asitisinaug
4
Points
Asitisinaug 12/24/11 - 04:01 am
0
0
One problem is that so often

One problem is that so often officers are overly scrutinized for how they react and in most cases it is because of over-reacting. The general public does not understand why an officer has his hand on his weapon or gives various orders/instructions because they are “a good person” and the officer is over-reacting. Officers are over scrutinized when they shoot at vehicles attempting to run them over. They are scrutinized when they shoot at someone who ignores an order to “show their hands” and instead reaches towards their back (gun or no gun), the officer is certainly within their right to shoot. Often it is the new “kinder & gentler” officer that ends up dead and the aggressive officer that ends up in trouble because he is not backed by the public and in many cases not backed by the department either.

Had this kid gotten out of the car, ignored officers orders and acted as if he was reaching for something and ended up dead with no gun in the car, the officer(s) would be berated by the public, the media and could even face criminal charges simply because they wanted to go home to their families. The “victim” would be portrayed as another young black male minding his own business and gunned down by over aggressive, possibly racist officers. Often, departments bowing to public pressure fail to back their officers appropriately and this makes officers in future situations second guess the situations they find their selves in which may contribute to their death.

Our police deserve far better. They need and deserve our support. We don’t need to keep burying our officers, making them second guess their selves, or even having them hesitate a second. In the time it takes to say “Drop your weapon”, the trigger could be pulled and the officer dead. It should simply be understood by any intelligent human being that if the police pull you over, you keep your hands visible, you advise them if you have a weapon and its location, etc. and if you make sudden threatening moves, reach for a visible weapon, etc. that you may end up dead because the officer does not have the liberty to determine your motives and must treat everyone as a threat.

In this specific incident, it does not seem hat a felony traffic stop was conducted and if the information in the paper is correct, that could have been a major game changer in the outcome of this incident.

Either way, this known repeat violent offender with previous weapons charges should have been behind bars. Now, he should be placed in the electric chair – next week would be appropriate.

JohnScott213
10
Points
JohnScott213 12/24/11 - 06:55 am
0
0
Good post as usual, asitis.

Good post as usual, asitis. Thanks for your continued support of law enforcement.

shrimp for breakfast
5641
Points
shrimp for breakfast 12/24/11 - 07:07 am
0
0
I am one who has struggled

I am one who has struggled with the morality of the death penalty.
That being said if ever there was a "slam dunk" on whether or not Capital Punishment was justified Mr Carter is the Poster Boy for execution.
Mr. Prosecutor you should accept NO DEALS or PLEAS of any kind. Roll the dice on this one. If Mr. Carter is found guilty he has forfieted his own life. If it takes over ten years to finally put him to death then so be it. That's much better than the sixty plus years (if he died of old age) it would cost to house feed and basicly take care of this monster.
The earth will be a much safer place with this "thing" dead.

nnaugusta
533
Points
nnaugusta 12/24/11 - 10:30 am
0
0
AsitisinaugSaturday, Dec. 24

AsitisinaugSaturday, Dec. 24 4:01 AM...... This is hands down, the best post I have ever read on these forums concerning this, or any other subject! I am going to save and print this to show others.

Iwannakno
1533
Points
Iwannakno 12/24/11 - 11:27 pm
0
0
I wonder if the colors of the
Unpublished

I wonder if the colors of the 2 officers that were shot and the suspects were reversed how much of our towns would be burning?

taha
0
Points
taha 12/25/11 - 08:47 am
0
0
iwannakno....your comment

iwannakno....your comment doesnt even deserve a response...

Iwannakno
1533
Points
Iwannakno 12/25/11 - 05:15 pm
0
0
Because it's true...
Unpublished

Because it's true...

ispy4u
0
Points
ispy4u 12/25/11 - 11:07 pm
0
0
It's obvious that you don't

It's obvious that you don't know much. No law abiding citizen would ever react in a violent way, when those of us in law enforcement do our jobs. The Naysayers are always looking for excuses to create a problem. Are you one of them? The support shown by the CSRA upon the death of Deputy J.D. Paugh was a perfect illustration of this.

ispy4u
0
Points
ispy4u 12/25/11 - 11:11 pm
0
0
How do you delete double

How do you delete double posts?

ispy4u
0
Points
ispy4u 12/25/11 - 11:09 pm
0
0
sorry

sorry

Iwannakno
1533
Points
Iwannakno 12/26/11 - 10:28 pm
0
0
I'm not talking about law
Unpublished

I'm not talking about law abiding citizens and my post did not come out as I meant. What I meant was what do you think would happen if 2 white officers shot 2 black suspects and killed them? Look at the cherry tree crossing shooting and tell me what would have happened if the officer that did the shooting was white. The residents were already close to rioting. This had nothing to do with the law abiding citizens that respect law enforcement.

itsanotherday
0
Points
itsanotherday 12/27/11 - 01:18 am
0
0
You make a good point about
Unpublished

You make a good point about realities; but you have to understand how history impacts the perspective. Wrong or right, it is what it is.

Back to Top
loading...
Search Augusta jobs