The State Law Enforcement Division said it is investigating after a Lexington County sheriff’s deputy shot and killed a man following a car chase.
A Lexington County Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman said deputies pursued 44-year-old Justin Adkins after he fled an attempted traffic stop near Gaston late Thursday. Adkins was wanted on an attempted murder charge in neighboring Orangeburg County.
“Deputies attempted to pull the man over for a traffic violation shortly before 10 p.m. on Shumpert Road,” Sheriff Jay Koon said in a statement. “The suspect failed to stop and initiated a pursuit that ended on Mimosa Drive when deputies deployed tire deflation devices on the car he was driving.”
Koon said deputies who approached the vehicle saw Adkins “present” a handgun. That’s when a deputy fired, hitting Adkins. He was taken to the hospital, where he later died.
“We never want to be put in a position where we have to take a life and our hearts go out to this man’s family,” Koon said. “Our deputies were able to react quickly and rely on their training when faced with a life-or-death situation. This situation could have turned out very differently and we’re thankful our deputies were not injured.”
The deputy is on paid administrative leave while the shooting is investigated. Koon said Adkins had been flagged as “armed and dangerous” by the National Crime Information Center database.
SLED said this was the second law enforcement-involved shooting this year.