Man shot by SC deputies dies; SLED investigating

Published: Sep. 15, 2022 at 6:14 AM EDT
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YORK COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC/WBTV) - The State Law Enforcement Division is investigating an officer-involved shooting in York County that left a 25-year-old man dead.

Tyshawn Malik Benjamin died at an area hospital from his injuries, according to the York County Coroner’s Office.

Deputies say the incident began with a stolen vehicle call in the Baxter area of Fort Mill.

SLED spokesperson Renée Wunderlich said the driver of a vehicle reported stolen, later identified as Benjamin, fled from the attempted traffic stop. During the pursuit, she said, Benjamin struck two patrol vehicles in an attempt to flee.

Investigators say a York County sheriff’s deputy fired at Benjamin as his vehicle accelerated and struck the patrol again.

York County Sheriff Kevin Tolson said the deputy fired three shots, hitting Benjamin. Tolson said he backed his deputy’s actions “100%.”

“This is what happens when you take a 2,500-pound bullet and you come at police officers,” he said at a Wednesday news conference, WBTV-TV reported.

Tolson showed dashcam footage from multiple deputies responding to the scene. He acknowledged his deputies shot a man who did not have a firearm but said that does not mean the man was not armed.

“But you can clearly see in the video he’s armed,” Tolson said. “He’s armed with a very dangerous and powerful instrument called a very heavy vehicle.”

Tolson identified the deputies involved as Senior Deputy Korey Wedow and Cpl. Lucas Frame.

He said Wedow was hired as a detention officer in 2015 and transferred to the sheriff’s office in 2018. Wedow was identified as the deputy who fired three shots.

“Clearly in this case, Deputy Wedow was defending his life,” Tolson said.

Tolson said Frame was hired as a detention officer in 2012 and transferred to the sheriff’s office in 2018.

Neither deputy was harmed. Both are on paid administrative leave.

Tolson admitted the chase escalated the incident and Tolson was asked why York County deputies felt justified in chased the suspect for 24 minutes when he was wanted by Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police.

“Based on Mr. Benjamin’s criminal record and his actions yesterday, I submit he was a dangerous individual,” Tolson said. “And we’re not going to not pursue dangerous individuals.”

Tolson said while SLED is investigating the incident, his agency will hold an internal investigation.