New audio released by investigators Monday shows the moment a Charleston County deputy shot a Hollywood resident last week after that resident opened his house door with a gun in hand.
The audio shows Deputy Keith Tyner fired two shots immediately after shouting “Show me your hands!” at 26-year-old Bryant Heyward, who had called 911 to report a home invasion only minutes earlier. Bryant was struck in the neck. His family says he remains paralyzed from the waist down, but they do not know if the condition is permanent.
AUDIO: Segment of audio that appears to be Heyward opening the door, Tyner giving the command, then firing two shots (0:27)
The Charleston County Sheriff’s Office released a statement with the video warning the public not to leap to conclusions about the relatively short time between Tyner’s command and the shots fired. “To rely solely on someone’s untrained ears and eyes to evaluate the contents of the dash cam video, to include the time period to which this very complex sequence of events occurred, would be totally unfair and inappropriate to all parties involved,” the statement said.
Tyner and another deputy had responded Thursday morning to reports of a home invasion less than 20 miles west of Charleston. Heyward called 911 only minutes earlier to report two armed intruders actively breaking into his home. Shots could be heard on the 911 audio released last week. The new audio released Monday came from dashboard camera footage inside Tyner’s patrol car as he responded to the scene. While the camera was running during the entire incident, the shooting occurred out of sight behind the home. Tyner’s microphone was activated during the recording, however, capturing the incident.
The video shows Tyner pulling up and talking to Heyward’s grandmother, who lives next door. She can be heard telling the deputy that she saw the gunmen go behind her grandson’s house. Tyner waits for a few minutes until another officer Master Deputy Richard Powell arrives on-scene, telling him he wanted support before approaching the house.
“I just want to have somebody with me when I go up to (the house),” he can be heard telling Powell in an off-screen conversation. “I’m not sure if they went in or not. I’m not a hundred percent sure… They said they heard gunshots and saw them back this way. I don’t know if they went in this house or not.” The deputies would later learn the two assailants had fled after Heyward fired at them from his hiding place in the home’s laundry room.
Powell said in his incident report that the pair then walked into the home’s backyard. While there, he said Heyward opened the back door while still holding a handgun. Powell’s report said Tyner gave a command to Heyward, then opened fire when the homeowner did not comply (Powell himself reported he could not actually see the gun due to his angle). But the video released Monday seems to show Tyner firing two shots less than a second after shouting “Show me your hands! Show me your hands!”
Investigators have not said if Heyward had the gun pointed at Tyner or if it was pointed another direction.
After firing, Tyner then reports, “Shots fired,” and again yells “Show me your hands!” at Heyward. The wounded man yells “Wrong guy, sir! Wrong guy, sir!” Noticeably in pain, he then screams, “This is my house!”
The deputies quickly realize their mistake and start to administer aid. An ambulance arrived moments later and, while being treated by paramedics, Heyward told an investigator that his shooting was “an accident.”
“I saw the officer,” Heyward can be heard saying in a recording released last week. “I should have put the gun down. But I didn’t. And he thought that I was the crook and he shot.”
Both Tyner and Powell are on leave with pay while state police investigate the incident, which is standard procedure for most officer-involved shootings in South Carolina.
Deputies eventually caught one of the two suspected home invaders. 22-year-old Thomas Brown was given a $1 million bond on Friday. A second man, 19-year-old Joshua Simmons remains at-large as of Monday afternoon.