Officer cleared in Florence shooting; returns to duty

Florence, SC - FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) - The South Carolina Attorney General's Office has cleared a Florence police officer from any wrongdoing during a January shooting that hospitalized one man.

According to Florence Police Chief Anson Shells, a patrol officer was patrolling the North Florence area on Oakland Avenue around 11:30 p.m. on Jan. 27 when he saw two vehicles apparently racing and traveling down the road at a high rate of speed.

Shells said one of the vehicles escaped, but the officer did initiate a stop on the other vehicle. Once the officer, identified as Officer Alex Ussery, got out of his car to approach the suspect's vehicle, the suspect drove away.

Shells said the officer was able to trail the vehicle down several streets and neighborhoods before the suspect vehicle pulled into a grassy area at Oakland and Norfolk. Ussery pulled in after him, and Shells said the suspect vehicle came back around and stopped next to Ussery's squad car.

According to a police report, Ussery got out of his vehicle, drew his gun, approached the suspect and ordered him out of the car. Shells said the suspect spun the car around twice before heading toward the officer.

Shells said the officer, identified in a police report as Alex C. Ussery, backed away and found himself trapped against his own vehicle and opened fire.

Shells said Ussery shot the suspect three times - in both arms and the suspect's lower right side. The suspect was transported to an area hospital for treatment.  His injuries were not life threatening.

Ussery, according to officials with the Florence Police Department, will be returning to full duty immediately.

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