Video: Florence police officer cleared in deadly July shooting

Video: Florence police officer cleared in deadly July shooting

WARNING: This video may contain images that are disturbing to some.

Florence police officer cleared in deadly July shooting

FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) - A Florence Police Department officer that was involved in a shooting last summer has been cleared after two investigations.

According to a press release on Thursday, South Carolina Law Enforcement Division and FPD both conducted an investigation after Officer Thomas Herman was involved in a shooting on July 14, 2018.

The release says the Twelfth Judicial Circuit Solicitor has completed a review of the officer-involved shooting which occurred at 2671 Hospitality Blvd., and has cleared the officer involved.

The incident happened at 12:22 p.m. when officers were dispatched to the Hilton Garden Inn on Hospitality Boulevard regarding a person who was waving around a gun.

Herman was the first officer on scene and made contact with the person who called for assistance. While Officer Herman was speaking with this person, Jethro Benjamin appeared on scene with a handgun.

It is said in the release that Herman told Benjamin to get on the ground and Benjamin hid behind a vehicle. Benjamin then fired at Herman and Herman returned fire as he sought cover, according to police.

“A brief volley of gunfire” was exchanged and Benjamin was wounded. Herman and two other responding officers secured the scene and positioned Benjamin on his side to aid in his breathing until an ambulance arrived.

Benjamin was transported to the hospital by EMS, but died a short time later.

No officers were injured during this incident and FPD Chief Alan Heidler requested that SLED investigate this incident. FPD also conducted an internal inquiry into the shooting.

As a result of both investigations, it has been determined that Herman acted in accordance with state law, as well as departmental policy.

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