Authorities now say a teen who shot and killed a Greenville police officer last month before later committing suicide used a stolen gun in the crime. Another 17-year-old who supplied him the weapon now faces charges.
Greenville Police Chief Ken Miller and 13th Circuit Solicitor Walt Wilkins held a news conference Monday after the State Law Enforcement Division finished its investigation into the shooting death of Officer Allen Jacobs. They pair also revealed charges against Trystan Merritt of Taylors, who they say stole from his grandfather the gun used in the shooting.
Chief Miller said Jacobs had stopped 17-year-old Deontea Mackey in a neighborhood just south of downtown after hearing the convicted felon was trying to acquire a gun illegally. But Mackey fled before the stop was finished. Miller said Mackey shot Walker in the ensuing chase after the officer rounded a corner. “Jacobs’ firearm was never drawn,” he said.
Miller said Mackey then fled down a trail connecting the neighborhood with Greenville’s popular Swamp Rabbit Trail. Three officers cornered Mackey, the chief said, and the suspect shot himself after calling his mother.
Wilkins said the gun involved was a .40-caliber pistol belonging to Merritt’s grandfather that was stolen prior to the March 18 shooting. “He was charged with unlawful carrying of a weapon and also charged with petty larceny, because the value of the weapon was around $500,” Wilkins said. The solicitor said his office is also seeking to present two more charges against Merritt for possessing a stolen weapon and for being underaged while carrying.
The 28-year-old Jacobs is survived by a wife and two children, with a third baby on the way. Investigators say Jacobs was wearing a body camera at the time, but it was damaged during the fight and it’s unclear whether it was ever turned on.
Miller said his office hopes to move on to the next step more than a month after losing an officer. “Our organization needs to move forward, the community needs to move forward,” he told reporters Monday. “And it’s our hope and our prayer that we can do so in a way that, quite frankly, helps to build bridges rather than tear them down,”