FLORENCE COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Family members say the man killed in an officer-involved shooting Wednesday morning is the brother of a missing Johnsonville man.
Florence County Coroner, Keith von Lutcken identified the deceased subject as Jeremy Lorenza Kelly, 27, of the Johnsonville area. Family members told WMBF News that Kelly is the brother of Julius Gamble, a Johnsonville man who has been missing since August 2014. The family held a vigil for Gamble this past weekend.
Kelly was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the coroner. Von Lutcken said an autopsy will be conducted at the Medical University of SC.
"About 1:02 a.m., I heard gunshots and I went back to bed but I was awakened by the tap on the window. She said the police was at her house and they shot [Kelly]," said Janet Doctor.
Doctor said that's how the suspect's mother informed her that her cousin, Kelly, was dead. He was shot by the Florence County Sherriff's Office SWAT team.
Authorities say at 12:52 a.m. they went to the home to check out reports of shots fired.
According to investigators, Kelly led deputies and one member of the Johnsonville Police Department into a wooded area on Dixie Street. Officials say Kelly was armed with a gun.
"Negotiators and family members of the suspect attempted to have the suspect peacefully surrender, but to no avail. When the suspect pointed his weapon toward law enforcement officers fired resulting in the death of the suspect," said Major Mike Nunn with the Florence County Sherriff's Office.
"And immediately my heart just went out for her because she already has a son that's missing," said Doctor.
Johnsonville Police officers were the first to arrive on the scene. Florence County Sheriff's deputies arrived shortly after, according to an official at the scene. A man ran into the nearby woods and his family, friends and SWAT officers tried to talk him down, an FCSO official said.
While officers waited for the FCSO SWAT team to arrive, the suspect fired multiple shots at law enforcement, the official at the scene said.
"Our hearts are heavy for members of the Kelly family who have endured much and lost much over the past 7 months," Sheriff Kenney Boone stated. "In addition, our thoughts are with our officers as well, who regret having to take this action. We will keep them all in our prayers."
This incident is being investigated by the SC Law Enforcement Division, and the Florence County Coroner's Office.