SLED: 18-year-old suspect opens fire at Conway police officer during traffic stop, officer returned fire

Published: Dec. 30, 2022 at 11:27 AM EST|Updated: Dec. 30, 2022 at 11:11 PM EST
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CONWAY, S.C. (WMBF) – The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division is investigating an officer-involved shooting in Conway.

In a statement released Friday afternoon, SLED said the incident happened Thursday night at around 8:45 p.m. Conway Police Chief Dale Long said earlier in the day that an officer performed a traffic stop on Forest Loop Road just off 9th Avenue.

“The subject exited his vehicle and immediately started shooting at the officer,” Long said in a video statement on Facebook.

In a statement on Friday morning, Conway Police Chief Dale Long said there was an officer-involved shooting Thursday night on Forest Loop Road.

SLED said the suspect, an unidentified 18-year-old man, stopped his vehicle in the driveway of a home. He then got out of the car and opened fire “in the direction of the officer.”

Both SLED and Long said the officer then returned fire and struck the suspect, with Long adding that the involved officer and arriving officers immediately provided help to the suspect until EMS arrived.

The suspect was taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries. The officer was not hurt in the shooting but was placed on paid administrative leave while SLED investigates.

WMBF News went to the area in Conway where the shooting happened later Friday, where neighbors said they’re not sure what led up to the shooting. They added that they don’t typically see this type of situation in their community.

A woman who said she was the suspect’s mother also spoke to WMBF News where the shooting happened. WMBF News has chosen not to identify her for this story, as the suspect has also not been named by authorities as of Friday night.

“I don’t condone his wrongs, I don’t condone no wrongs,” she said. “And whatever the police officer does, come talk to me. I’m a person, I’m human. I have feelings too. Come talk to me. That’s my child. Put yourself in my shoes. If he did wrong, let me know that. But he’s still somebody. He’s still my child.”

She added that she just wants to know what led up to the shooting, adding that he was “laying up in the hospital fighting for his life.”

Long said Conway police don’t believe anyone else is involved and they are not looking for anyone else in the case.

SLED said this marks the 32nd officer-involved shooting in South Carolina so far this year and the first involving the Conway Police Department.

Check back with WMBF News for more on this developing story.