Charleston-area authorities say a suspect accused of shooting and seriously injuring a Berkeley County deputy in an overnight shooting has died after shooting himself as SWAT officers stood outside a North Charleston home.
36-year-old Travis Smith died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound early Friday morning, according to the Charleston County Coroner’s Office.
Corporal Kimber Gist is recovering from surgery and is listed in stable condition, according to her superiors.
The Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office said in a Facebook post that Gist was investigating a suspicious vehicle behind a closed grocery store in Goose Creek shortly after midnight Friday. Sheriff Duane Lewis said that is an area known for criminal activity.
Gist told her dispatcher that that a suspect was in custody a few minutes later. But then she soon reported that the suspect was fighting her and the dispatcher lost radio contact. Investigators say that is when gunshots were fired.
Lewis said Gist was shot multiple times but was wearing body armor. The sheriff said his understanding is that Gist was also able to fire several shots during the fight, possibly injuring Smith. A citizen at the scene helped Gist call for backup and medical assistance, according to the sheriff.
Investigators said they were able to use the suspect’s vehicle to track him down at a North Charleston home. SWAT officers arrived at the home around 1:30 a.m. and North Charleston Police say a standoff ensued until around 6:30 a.m., when the suspect shot himself. Three other people left the home during the standoff.
The State Law Enforcement Division is investigating the incident
Lewis said Gist has been with the department for more than two years, including the past year spent on road patrol.