Man with shovel killed by SC cop

Thursday, May 9, 2013 9:39 AM
Last updated 7:14 PM
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ORANGEBURG, S.C. — Prosecutors say an Orangeburg County sheriff’s deputy was justified when he shot and killed a suspect who was using a shovel in what was called a “threatening manner.”

The Times and Democrat of Orangeburg reported that prosecutor David Pascoe has decided that no charges will be filed against Deputy Steve Thompson.

Forty-two-year-old Barry Caldwell was shot and killed March 19.

Pascoe made the decision after reviewing a report by the State Law Enforcement Division.

Thompson had responded to a harassment call and was confronted by Caldwell. Pascoe says Caldwell was using the shovel as a weapon and deadly force was justified to protect the officer and others.

Thompson has been in law enforcement for 12 years. He had been placed on administrative leave after the shooting.

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LLArms
470
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LLArms 05/09/13 - 09:07 am
4
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"... was suing the

"... was suing the shovel..."

As comical as that is, just a heads up on the typo.

daphne3520
953
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daphne3520 05/09/13 - 09:44 am
0
1
AMEN! To the typo comment! Nt
Unpublished

no text

Red Headed Step Child
4496
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Red Headed Step Child 05/09/13 - 10:00 am
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7
Armchair quarterbacking...

Just wondering that if the weapon Mr. Caldwell was using was a shovel, and nothing else ( I admit that anything can be used to kill)...why couldn't the officer shoot him in the leg or something to incapacitate him vs. mortally wounding him? At a resonable distance from the suspect, wouldn't that have been an option? I would think the suspect would have to get close enough to hit the officer in order to do any harm - it's not quite like a knife that can be thrown - a shovel wouldn't exactly be an easy thing to throw with any deadly accuracy...But then again, I am not a LEO and I wasn't there...

Sean Moores
702
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Sean Moores 05/09/13 - 10:21 am
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@LLArms

Thanks. It's fixed.

I'm Back Again
307
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I'm Back Again 05/09/13 - 10:23 am
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You people are silly. Why do
Unpublished

You people are silly. Why do posters always ask why the cop doesn't shoot a suspect in the leg? For the last time:COPS ARE NOT TRAINED TO SHOOT SUSPECTS IN THE LEG. They are not trained to "injure" a suspect, or "shoot to kill" a suspect. THEY ARE TRAINED TO SHOOT TO STOP THE THREAT!!! When the threat of bodily harm is gone, the cop will stop firing at the suspect.

There is a very good chance that an officer could shoot a suspect in the leg and he continue to assault a victim, or an officer. They are trained to shoot 2 to the center mass (chest) because it is the biggest target on a person, as well as it holds all the vital organs. If those 2 shots do not drop a suspect, the third shot is to the cranial vault (head).
If you don't like the training the officers receive, them ask to change it. But please don't question a cops actions when he follows his training to the T.
And yes, I was a cop for 10 years so I know firsthand about the training.

David Parker
7923
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David Parker 05/09/13 - 11:02 am
8
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NEver can tell if someone is

NEver can tell if someone is geeked up on something and with adrenalin levels going crazy, a shot to the leg may not stop an approaching perp. They are probably trained to aim for the center of mass if threatened. Sucks that a life ended either way.

itsanotherday1
48433
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itsanotherday1 05/09/13 - 11:57 am
4
4
They are definitely trained

They are definitely trained for center mass targeting; but with the limited info available, it does SEEM lethal force was a bit hasty. Impossible to say what I would do in the officer's shoes.

oldredneckman96
5115
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oldredneckman96 05/09/13 - 12:14 pm
4
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Shovel Ready
Unpublished

I have been to Orangeburg and if you see anyone with a shovel, it is a sure bet they are not using it for work.

Riverman1
94433
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Riverman1 05/09/13 - 12:38 pm
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I think Caldwell is (was)

I think Caldwell is (was) related to a high ranking SLED officer.

Darby
29583
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Darby 05/09/13 - 02:27 pm
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"I have been to Orangeburg and if you see

anyone with a shovel, it is a sure bet they are not using it for work."

.
Now, is that nice??? Really???

stephykins
39
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stephykins 05/09/13 - 02:43 pm
6
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Shoot to kill, force plus one

Shoot to kill, force plus one & all that jazz.

specsta
7209
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specsta 05/09/13 - 03:24 pm
1
13
A Shovel is a Lethal Weapon?

I seriously do not see how anyone could kick my butt if they were just wielding a shovel "in a threatening manner". A pitchfork, yes - but a shovel? Seriously? A shovel is a mighty clumsy instrument to be using if you're trying to threaten someone.

Maybe these cops need some martial arts training and they won't have to shoot and kill folks who are not armed with a gun or knife...

Bubba
152
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Bubba 05/09/13 - 03:39 pm
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Bubba Remembers

Someone in Aiken robbed a bank with a pitchfork a few years ago. Police don't shoot to wound. It isn't a feasible training concept in my opinion. But it sounds good, "I'll just shoot him in the leg." then I miss his leg and he spilts my skull with the shovel because he's way faster than he looked a second ago. Bummer all the way around though. Perhaps the guy had mental problems.

KSL
144941
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KSL 05/09/13 - 06:03 pm
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1
Come on, guys. There was a

Come on, guys. There was a call by someone to get the deputy dispatched in the first place. Notice all the info missing from this report. Perhaps he was threatening a third person when the deputy arrived.

rational thought trumps emotion
2682
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rational thought trumps emotion 05/09/13 - 06:22 pm
15
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Amazing

So, a person gets hit in the head with a baseball bat and the community is up in arms to hang those accused of such a heinous crime. Yet, a public servant responds to assist others and is confronted by a man with a shovel wielding it at him in a threatening manner even after knowing it is an armed police officer ordering him to drop it or be shot and these same individuals wish to Monday morning quarterback the officer.

Police Officers want to go home at night just as you do and they also want to protect those who called them for help. If someone is going to attempt to attack an armed cop displaying a firearm, they are certainly out of control. Instead of asking if the cop should have done this or that, ask what would have happened had the guy struck the cop knocking the gun from his hands and then possessed a firearm or if he just got one good blow to the head of the officer, not only could the officer have died but again, the person would now have a gun. When police are confronted with such a threat they are trained ONE RESPONSE ONLY and that is to shoot center mass until the threat stops, nothing more and nothing less.

This individual was endangering the lives of others and that of the officer. He was ordered to stop and even after being confronted with deadly force, failed to do so. The officer did EXACTLY what he is trained and paid to do which is to stop the threat, protect others and himself. Most likely he is not happy he was placed in this situation or that he had to do what he did and it often bothers officers for many years to come. The last thing those who are sworn to serve and protect need is persons with no knowledge of police procedures Monday morning quarterbacking the life or death split second decisions they were forced to make while out in the real world.

KSL
144941
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KSL 05/09/13 - 06:56 pm
2
1
r t t e

Exactly

gargoyle
21182
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gargoyle 05/09/13 - 07:35 pm
2
3
Killer shovels....Yep!!!

Anything can be used as a weapon,even a pillow.The Russians have tactical shovels that can be deadly at throwing distance.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AgIBQoMLSic

CobaltGeorge
177188
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CobaltGeorge 05/09/13 - 07:41 pm
4
1
trumps

what type of human brain could conceive giving you a Downer on your very accurate comment. Like criminals, they walk amoung us.

Red Headed Step Child
4496
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Red Headed Step Child 05/09/13 - 08:24 pm
2
8
@rtte

I must have missed the memo that stated that those who are not LEOs can't ask questions about situations like this...sorry. It's not unheard of to have an LEO exercise excessive / deadly force when it's not warranted, so you'll have to forgive me for asking the question - I assure you it was not out of direspect to LEOs across the board.

I'm also having trouble finding where I stated that what the LEO did was wrong or didn't deserve to protect himself and be able to go home to his family..unless it wasn't my post that you were commenting on...

KSL
144941
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KSL 05/09/13 - 10:14 pm
5
2
red headed

Are you that good of a marksman to hit a possibly moving person in a leg from a distance in this kind of situation?

Gage Creed
19470
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Gage Creed 05/09/13 - 08:26 pm
5
0
Suicide by Cop?

Suicide by Cop?

Darby
29583
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Darby 05/09/13 - 10:14 pm
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"It's not unheard of to have an LEO

exercise excessive / deadly force when it's not warranted...."

.
You are absolutely right. On the other hand, it's not unheard of for some folks who were not on the scene to come to subjective and unwarranted conclusions.

That's why some LEO's and their supporters tend to be somewhat defensive about this type of thing.

Still, if an incident does not turn out to be, what we used to call, a "righteous" shooting, then proper action must be taken. The lines must not be blurred.

No one has the right, moral or legal to look the other way.

KSL
144941
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KSL 05/10/13 - 12:15 am
4
1
Red, the law wad called to

Red, the law wad called to the scene. Give them a break until contrary information is released. As it seems now, we should be applauding a rapid response.

KSL
144941
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KSL 05/10/13 - 12:19 am
4
1
And evidently, contrary info

And evidently, contrary info will not be forthcoming.

rational thought trumps emotion
2682
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rational thought trumps emotion 05/10/13 - 01:37 am
3
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RHSC

My original comment was not directed at you but to the few who posted the other options that the officer should have or could have taken in their opinion.

There obviously is nothing wrong with asking questions but pointed questions or statements as to what should have been done are another matter. Questions were asked by supervisors, then by internal affairs, then by SLED of SC, and then in this case as a final safety measure, they were asked by the prosecutor’s office and in all cases, the officer was determined to be justified.

My point is very simple – MOST all uses of deadly force by the police are justified but even when they are justified you still have the Monday morning quarterbacks. Officers must make split second life or death decisions and many already hesitate due to what they see officers go through who are forced to make such a decision. Often they are criticized by the public even when they are justified, they are certainly second guessed, they are put through the ringer by their agency, the state agency and sometimes the court systems. For those who second guess their decisions (not asking question but making outright statements of disagreement, etc.) they should experience a police simulated shooting and see what happens to officers who hesitate, even for a split second.

I agree with you that there are some bad officers and systems should be in place to keep them doing what is right. I agree it is ok to ask questions. Where I disagree is those who make comments like he should have done…or he was too hasty, etc. I get it, to some extent, but I just don’t agree with it. Any person who has an armed officer pointing a gun at them and fails to comply, charges the officer, refuses to drop a weapon, etc. is at risk of having justifiable deadly force used against them.

These officers who are forced to use deadly force are not only second guessed but once they are ruled as justified (doing their job effectively just as they were trained) that seems to be the end of the support they receive. They aren’t hailed as heroes because they took a life as that would not be politically correct or appropriate – although in reality, most wouldn’t want that anyway. So, after being continually second guessed and after receiving little or no support, they are told to get back to work. Most never receive de-briefings or proper mental support or peer support.

paladin5
311
Points
paladin5 05/10/13 - 04:27 am
3
1
LEO TRAINING

RTTE HAS IT RIGHT. I would not want Red Head or Specsta as my partner (unless they went through LE Training and finally realized the reality of the job).

Training: Stop or eliminate the "threat"; not taught to "kill".
- Fire at Center of Mass
- Consideration: A subject can close from 21 feet (21 Foot Rule) faster than average officer can draw and fire (resulting in really close combat).
- knife, shovel (has handle), axe (has handle), hatchet, steel bar, or chains can all kill or seriously injure you.
- I am not Roy Rogers, Hopalong Cassidy, or Wyatt Earp.
- I would prefer my shotgun if the subject is going to be moving....not always time to assess the situation upon arrival.
-LEO sidearms are for Defensive purposes....and if possible allows you to get your LONG GUN....that infamous AR (Assault Rifle).

Sorry, I believe you make a Decision and then Hopefully go Home in one piece.

BE SAFE AMIGOES

leawords
84
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leawords 05/10/13 - 05:42 am
2
0
Gratitude

I am just so thankful there are brave men and women who serve as LEO's in this day-and-age, when people seem to snap at the least provocation, and drugs and tools of violence (pun intended) are so readily available. I know it's not a job I would want, nor one I'd even be capable of undertaking. All you folks in law enforcement certainly deserve larger paychecks than you get.

Red Headed Step Child
4496
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Red Headed Step Child 05/10/13 - 09:03 am
0
0
@rtte

Yeah - I get that and appreciate your posts. What is amazing to me is that there are posters out there that totally misunderstand what you are trying to express - which is typical in forums like this. It's not easy to cover every nuance of what you are intending and keep the posts short.

Red Headed Step Child
4496
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Red Headed Step Child 05/10/13 - 01:53 pm
1
0
@KSL

Nope...not a marksman at all. I know some that I think could, which is why I posed the question IF it was an option in this situation - as was stated, there weren't a lot of details on the case, which opens people up to posing questions - especially by those who are not in law enforcement. Didn't realize I'd committed heresy by asking - judging by the responses I've gotten..

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