Report: Officer shoots suspect, fearing suspect would shoot woma - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Report: Officer shoots suspect, fearing suspect would shoot woman

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – The Horry County Police officer who shot and killed a man at Flintlake Apartments on Thursday night said in a report that he was fearful that the man would shoot and kill the woman he was holding during a domestic incident.

At about 11 p.m. Thursday night, Officer Richard Crouse responded to a home in the 600 block of East Flintlake Court, where a man inside was reportedly threatening his family with a gun, according to Lt. Raul Denis with Horry County Police.

In a detailed account of the incident, Officer Crouse said that when he arrived at the apartments for the domestic violence call, he heard someone yelling: “Get in there, he’s going to kill her!”

“I recall hearing screams and thinking the scene was chaotic,” Officer Crouse stated in the report. He approached the townhouse using parked vehicles as concealment and cover, and heard screams and loud voices coming from the scene. He then saw a woman struggling over a handgun with a man, later identified as 32-year-old Brian Stortzum.

“I recall the fear in the victim’s eyes accompanied by her screams as she struggled with the white male trying to prevent him from shooting her,” Officer Crouse stated in the report. Stortzum then looked directly at Officer Crouse and “stated something to the effect of 'you come in here or any closer and it will be a bad day for her,'” Officer Crouse recounted.

As he said this, Stortzum tried to raise the gun to the woman, while she continued to struggle with him.

“I was fearful that the white female was about to be shot and killed,” Officer Crouse stated. That’s when he fired at Stortzum, striking him.

“I believe the white male discharged his handgun,” Officer Crouse stated. “I am not sure at what point this shot was fired. At that point I believe I fired on the white male several times. He fell to the bottom of the entry way.”

Another officer who witnessed the scene stated in a report that he saw Officer Crouse fire three rounds towards Stortzum. Stortzum then ran out of the apartment, and as police ordered him to show his hands, he fell forward onto the floor from his injuries, and was bleeding from his chest, mouth and nose.

The victim who was being threatened with the gun by Stortzum then ran outside to her children, Officer Crouse stated. The scene was secured, and EMS responded.

After the shooting, Officer Crouse, who has 20 years of law enforcement experience, was placed on paid administrative leave, as is department policy after an officer-involved shooting, according to Lt. Raul Denis. The State Law Enforcement Division is investigating the incident.

Related Link:

Coroner identifies man shot, killed by police responding to domestic incident

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