Officials have now identified an armed robbery suspect killed by Hardeeville police officers Monday morning.
Hardeeville Police Chief Sam Woodward and Jasper County Sheriff Greg Jenkins said the suspect Rafael Bostick had taken a clerk at the Dollar General store hostage by the time two officers and a deputy responded. Woodward said Bostick tried to flee to the back of the store with the clerk when law enforcement came through the door. However, the clerk was able to escape and the suspect fired at the officers, striking one in the foot.
The officers said they returned fire, hitting Bostick. He later died at a Savannah hospital. The officer was taken to a hospital for an X-Ray, but is otherwise believed to be okay. Jenkins said the clerk twisted her ankle during the incident.
State Law Enforcement Division investigators are reviewing the incident, as they do for most officer-involved shootings in South Carolina.
Sheriff Jenkins said a neighbor called 911 after spotting Bostick go into the store with a gun. “We’re grateful for that citizen who saw something and they made a call,” he told reporters during a press conference outside the store. “That’s what we preach all the time about involvement from our citizens. That made the job more effective.”