FLORENCE, S.C. — A four-second exchange of commands and replies on Wednesday ended in gunfire and the death of a Florence man at the end of a police pursuit.
Florence County Sheriff T.J. Joye released a video statement Friday on the shooting by a deputy Wednesday in Southern Pines Mobile Home Park off Howe Springs Road.
Joye said his office has requested that SLED conduct a thorough investigation into the shooting and the sheriff’s department is cooperating with the investigation.
The deputy involved has been placed on administrative leave, as is customary in cases such as this, Joye said.
“The video shows subject clearly threatening deputy and pointing weapon at the deputy,” Joye said. “The family of deceased supports release of the video. Our hearts go out to them over the loss of a loved one.”
Joye said he didn’t anticipate releasing any additional information until the shooting investigation was completed.
The video starts with the deputy, who has not been identified by the agency, behind the wheel of a cruiser, siren in the background, in what appears to be a vehicle pursuit as he gives street locations to the communications center.
As the pursuit crosses Tara Village the deputy comes to a stop, jumps out of the cruiser and runs after Abdul Timmons, 27, as they cross a debris pile and shrubs and run into Southern Pines.
The deputy fires his Taser once with no obvious effect or indication he hit Timmons. The deputy reloads it on the run.
At the intersection of South Oliver and South Dingle Drives, the deputy threatens the still-running Timmons with the Taser.
Timmons turns with a gun in his hand.
The deputy moves the Taser from his right hand to his left and appears to discard it on the ground. It can be seen on the pavement as the deputy backs away from the suspect.
“Don’t you do it,” the deputy shouts.
“Back up,” Timmons replies.
“Put it down,” the deputy shouts a second time.
“Back up, back up,” Timmons replies.
Two shots are fired, Timmons falls and someone in the park starts screaming.
The deputy radios that shots are fired, calls for medical assistance and commands Timmons to show his hands. Timmons, on his back on the ground, raises only one hand.
The deputy approaches Timmons and talks to him. Other deputies arrive and first responders arrive.
The deputy implores Timmons to keep breathing. He stops breathing.
The deputy performs CPR on Timmons, who starts to breathe again.
Timmons was on the phone with a family member at the time of the shooting and the deputy moves the phone closer to him so he can hear the caller.
Joye doesn’t address what precipitated the pursuit.
Timmons’ body was sent to the Medical University of South Carolina for an autopsy.
Once the investigation is complete the case file will be delivered to the 12th Circuit Solicitor’s Office, according to SLED.
This was the state’s first officer-involved shooting of the year.