South Carolina state police are investigating after a Greenville County deputy shot and killed a man suspected of driving a stolen car this weekend.
Greenville County Sheriff Will Lewis told reporters the shooting at the Super Lodge Hotel early Saturday morning came as the deputy was investigating a car with a stolen tag in the hotel’s parking lot.
“He tapped on the window, they wouldn’t respond. He tried to get them to engage, they wouldn’t engage,” Lewis said. “They wouldn’t roll down the window… they refused to follow commands. So, once he had backup on scene, the deputy busted the driver’s side window out of the vehicle. An altercation ensued, at which point shots were fired.”
37-year-old Jason Mendez of Fountain Inn died of multiple gunshot wounds in the incident, he said. A woman with Mendez — 23-year-old Kristen Clark — was arrested afterwards and charged with possession of a stolen vehicle and obstruction of justice.
The sheriff said Mendez had a long history of charges
“He’s been charged with 78 different crimes in South Carolina. He’s got 32 convictions. It dates back to 1998 for him, as far as a criminal history goes.”
Lewis said the deputy had been patrolling the Super Lodge because of recen crime activity in the area. The sheriff said there had been more than 390 response calls to the hotel in the past year. Saturday’s incident was recorded on surveillance footage.
The State Law Enforcement Division is investigating, as it does for most officer-involved shootings in South Carolina.