Coroner’s office identifies man killed in trooper-involved shooting in Longs area

Published: Sep. 14, 2021 at 10:22 AM EDT
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HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) – The man killed in a trooper-involved shooting in the Longs area Saturday has been identified.

A South Carolina Highway Patrol trooper attempted to stop a vehicle for an equipment violation around 3:45 p.m. on S.C. 905 near S.C. 22, but the driver reportedly fled.

According to authorities, the suspect crashed his vehicle into a utility building in a yard near McNeil Chapel Road and took off on foot, with the trooper giving chase.

As the trooper attempted to place the suspect under arrest, a struggle ensued and the trooper fatally shot the suspect, authorities said.

Horry County Deputy Coroner Darris Fowler said Tristan Vereen, 33, from the Longs area, was pronounced dead around 5 p.m. at Grand Strand Regional Medical Center.

The trooper involved in the shooting was identified as Master Trooper W.B. Benton, assigned to Highway Patrol Troop 5. He was taken to Conway Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries but has since been released from the hospital. Authorities said he is expected to undergo surgery for injuries sustained in the incident.

Benton, who has been with the agency since 2010, has been placed on administrative leave until the outcome of the investigation, which is standard protocol.

The incident remains under investigation by the State Law Enforcement Division.

The weekend shooting was the 28th officer-involved shooting in South Carolina in 2021. In 2020, there were 49 officer-involved shootings in the state, two of which involved the SCHP.

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