Charleston, South Carolina – A total of 11 law enforcement employees from South Carolina are currently on leave due to their involvement in a shooting incident that resulted in one fatality last Wednesday.
The group, consisting of eight officers from the North Charleston Police and three deputies from Charleston County, has been temporarily relieved of duty as the incident undergoes investigation by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division. This development was covered by multiple local television news outlets.
The officers were initially called to a scene following reports of gunfire at a Marathon gas station around 11:15 p.m., as stated by North Charleston Police spokesperson Harve Jacobs. Upon arrival, one officer encountered an individual armed with a handgun, located approximately 50 yards away from the gas station.
“Several officers arrived on scene and an extensive dialogue began with the subject in an effort to get him to drop his weapon,” police said in a statement. “The subject then turned towards the officers and brandished his gun in their direction several times before firing at them. The officers returned fire and immediately began rendering aid to the subject.”
The individual involved in the incident was later identified as 33-year-old Winston Dunham, who succumbed to multiple gunshot wounds at approximately 12:12 a.m.
According to a police report accessed by the media, Dunham reportedly discharged his firearm at the officers.
The report detailed that the officers were trying to calm the situation when Dunham brandished his weapon and fired at them. In response, the officers shot back, resulting in Dunham’s fatal injuries.
No members of law enforcement were harmed in the incident.
The North Charleston Police have asked the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division to conduct a thorough investigation into the shooting, a standard procedure, as mentioned by spokesperson Harve Jacobs.
The North Charleston Police members placed on leave include Sgt. Kevin Whitfield, Cpl. Kyle Decedue, Pfc. Christopher Schuessler, Pfc. Juan Estrada, Pfc. Justin Bonnell, Ptl. Justin Whittaker, Ptl. Jonathan Simmons, and Ptl. Christopher Hampton.
From the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office, Sgt. Austin Rissanen, Deputy Joseph Stokes, and Deputy Stuart Prettel have also been put on administrative leave.