SUMTER, S.C. — South Carolina officials say a Highway Patrol trooper is on administrative duty while investigators examine why he shot and killed a suspect described as turning violent during a DUI arrest.
The state Department of Public Safety said Sunday that Trooper B.O. Stokes fatally shot a motorist during a Sumter County traffic stop Saturday evening.
Sumter County Coroner Harvin Bullock says motorist Devin Taylor of Dalzell was shot in the chest and abdomen.
Investigators say Stokes tried to arrest the 25-year-old driver after a sobriety test, but he started struggling with the officer.
The state public safety agency says Stokes tried and failed to stop the attack by using his Taser electric shock weapon, then shot the driver to protect his life.
The State Law Enforcement Division is investigating the shooting.
1 dead, 1 wounded in restaurant fight
WEST ASHLEY, S.C. — One man is dead and another clinging to life after an early-morning argument escalated to a gun battle at a South Carolina restaurant.
A gunman outside a West Ashley Waffle House restaurant traded shots with people inside the building about 4 a.m. Sunday.
Charleston County Sheriff’s Maj. Jim Brady says deputies found two men lying in the parking lot, one dead and the other suffering life-threatening injuries.
The injured people were taken to Medical University Hospital by Charleston County EMS. The identities of the victims have not yet been released.
The Charleston County Coroner’s Office was also investigating.
A third person suffered minor injuries from a fall inside the restaurant.
Clemson student is Miss South Carolina
COLUMBIA — A 20-year-old Clemson University student has been crowned the new Miss South Carolina.
Ali Rogers won the honor Saturday night at Township Auditorium in Columbia. She was competing as Miss Laurens County. Rogers was Miss South Carolina Teen 2009. This year she was a swimsuit preliminary winner.
She will go on to compete in the Miss America Pageant in Las Vegas in January.
Seventeen-year-old Rachel Wyatt was crowned Miss South Carolina Teen 2012. The teen from Piedmont was competing as Miss Greater Mauldin Teen. She will compete in Miss America’s Outstanding
Teen in August in Orlando, Fla.
Airman’s letters finally delivered
COLUMBIA — Members of a grateful South Carolina family can finally read four heartfelt letters written by their 22-year-old relative who was killed in Vietnam before he could send them home.
Military representatives of the Army’s 101st Airborne Division presented the 40-year-old letters in a ceremony Saturday.
They were found on the body of Sgt. Steve Flaherty of Columbia, killed in combat in Vietnam in 1969.
Flaherty’s uncle Kenneth Cannon says after the family studies the letters, they will be donated to a South Carolina military museum so they can be preserved for all to see.
The Vietnamese took the letters after Flaherty’s death.
They were turned over to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta last month when he visited Vietnam in exchange for a Vietnamese soldier’s diary.
Georgia man held in woman’s death
CANTON, GA. — A 21-year-old Canton man has been charged with fatally shooting his 19-year-old girlfriend.
Cherokee sheriff’s deputies responding to a “person shot” call Sunday at 12:46 a.m. found Dejanirra Elrod with five gunshot wounds. Elrod had been shot near the doorway of the home. She was taken to Kennestone Hospital, where she later died.
There were no witnesses to the shooting. Authorities say Trevor Nuckles, who was living with Elrod, had recently been at the location of the shooting.
He was taken into custody and questioned by investigators.
He has been charged with murder, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony and obstruction of a 911 call.
Nuckles is being held without bond at the Cherokee Adult Detention Center.
In other news
AUTHORITIES SAY a teen charged in the murder of a 21-year-old college student told police he argued with the woman and panicked before choking her to death. Gary Jamaricus Smith is accused of killing Marylul Poupart, a junior biology student at Columbus State University. The 15-year-old Smith also faces one count each of theft by taking, felony theft of items from her vehicle and robbery. Smith has pleaded not guilty to all the charges and was ordered held without bond.