The 15th Circuit Solicitor’s Office has cleared an Horry County deputy of any criminal wrongdoing in relation to a deadly officer-involved shooting in the Nichols area on March 25.
Deputy First Class Jack Lee with the Horry County Sheriff's Office was involved in the shooting while assisting the Horry County Police Department as a member of its SWAT team.
The deceased was identified as 30-year-old Brandon Elliott from Nichols. After he was shot, Elliott was transported to McLeod-Loris Hospital where he died.
Lee was placed on paid administrative leave pending investigations. The State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) launched an inquiry into the incident.
In a letter to SLED Special Agent Jared Barkdoll dated June 14, Chief Deputy Solicitor Scott Hixson said that, based on what was uncovered during the state agency’s investigation, “there is no evidence of criminal wrongdoing on behalf of [Lee] in this tragic loss of life.”
“It is clear from your work that [Elliott] was armed, pointing, presenting and firing a long gun at the responding officers,” Hixson wrote.
The incident began in the Creek Landing Road area.
Shortly after 6 a.m., police received a call about an individual, later identified as Elliott, shooting at property and threatening others.
The HCPD's SWAT and dog teams responded to the scene.
“Upon locating the subject and after repeated demands to drop his long gun, [Elliott] disregarded the commands and fired a shot at one of the officers prompting [Lee] to return fire, fatally wounding the subject,” Hixson’s letter said.
“Substantial evidence exists to show [Elliott] threatened officers with his weapon to the point that they would be compelled to fire at him to protective themselves, each other and the community they serve.”
The Horry County Sheriff’s Office said in March the agency would be conducting an internal examination of the incident at the conclusion of SLED's investigation, which is standard protocol for officer-involved shooting incidents.