Newly released 911 calls show what happened when a Good Samaritan helped a Berkeley County deputy last week after that deputy had been shot by a suspect.
A concerned citizen, Kristan Touchberry, made the crucial phone call to 911 early Friday morning after she found Cpl. Kimber Gist with gunshot wounds just moments after the incident happened.
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. Gist told her dispatcher 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.
Audio of 911 call (2:01)
Touchberry does not say how she found Gist in the 911 phone call, but told Charleston TV station WCIV that she stopped her vehicle after being waved down by the wounded deputy.
In the 911 audio you can hear Touchberry giving a calm and clear account of her surroundings and the condition of the officer.
911 dispatcher: You said she’s shot?
Touchberry: Yes officer 144. She said she’s ok.
(Sirens heard in the background)
911 dispatcher: She’s ok? Ambulance is there?
Touchberry: I think I hear…it’s another unit, I think they’re going after the person who shot her. I don’t see an ambulance yet.
911 dispatcher: Where are you at?
Touchberry: I’m on Harborlake.
911 dispatcher: Ok ma’am, stay on the phone with me for a minute, ok?
Touchberry: I’m good, I’m staying right here. I’ve got my hazards on. I’m blocking the road from one direction and another officer is blocking the road from the other direction.
Sheriff Duane Lewis said Gist was shot multiple times but was wearing body armor. 36-year-old Travis Smith fled the scene but was tracked down at a North Charleston home. North Charleston Police say a standoff ensued until around 6:30 a.m., when the suspect shot himself. 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. The sheriff office’s Facebook page had a photo of Gist posing with fellow deputies in the hospital with the caption, “Berkeley County deputies with Cpl. Kimber Gist as she recovers. The Berkeley County Sheriff’s Department is happy to see Cpl. Gist doing so well.”
Gist’s family said they give “honor and praise to God” that Gist is continuing to do well in her recovery.
Kimberly Washington filed this report