Man shot and paralyzed by police shares his side of the story

Man shot and paralyzed by police shares his side of the story

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - An independent prosecutor has now ruled three officers should not face charges for shooting a man in his apartment in April. Now the man shot is sharing his side of the story.

On April 16, the 15th Circuit Drug Enforcement Unit stormed the apartment of Julian Betton while executing a narcotics warrant on Withers Swash Drive. Originally officers told the Solicitor Betton shot back, but the same report that cleared the officers from charges, also found that Betton hadn't fired any weapons.

Now Betton and his attorney are raising some more questions.

"I've got a bullet hole right here under my right arm," described Betton while showing off his nine bullet wounds. "I've got a bullet hole right here."
The last few months have been a blur for Julian Betton. 

"What I remember is coming out of the bathroom and falling, thinking I'm dead," he said.

Weeks after he was shot several times by Drug Enforcement Officers in his apartment, Betton woke up in a hospital bed. By his side was his mother, girlfriend, and an Horry County Sheriff's deputy.

"The Sheriff was sitting next to my bed and said, 'Yeah, you had a shootout with police.' Really? Are you serious?"
Betton soon learned he was facing three criminal drug charges following a police raid at his apartment.

Officers originally told prosecutors that Betton shot at them, but a recent independent investigation states Betton did not fire his weapon. That same report states he did point a handgun at the officers, and they were lawful in defending themselves.

"The officers were entitled to defend themselves from the moment he presented a danger to their lives by presenting the weapon," York County Solicitor Kevin Brackett stated in a letter to the State Law Enforcement Division, the agency conducting the investigation into the shooting.

"The officers told the solicitor that Mr. Betton fired first; that my client fired first," disputed Jonny McCoy, Betton's attorney. "They're zero for one in their account right now.

SLIDESHOW: Scene of officer-involved shooting in Myrtle Beach

McCoy says the facts don't line up, but the independent investigation brings up more damning details. Brackett says Betton was a fugitive from Ohio and was known to be heavily-armed.

McCoy says his client should have never been shot nine times.

"Why was this search so intrusive?" he asked. "Why was there so many officers there from four different entities? And what were they looking for? Marijuana?"

The three DEU officers involved in the shooting were identified by SLED as Frank Waddell of the Coastal Carolina University Police Department, Chris Dennis of the Horry County Sheriff's Office and Officer David Belue of the Myrtle Beach Police Department.

Betton is currently charged with several drug possession and sales charges, and could face more charges moving forward.

He's now paralyzed and living in a small apartment room, but he remains optimistic. 

"My mom was supposed to come bury me, not come visit me in a hospital," Betton said. "So being that I'm alive, the sky's still the limit."

McCoy says if officers never knocked and announced, he has the right to defend himself. There is no body cam footage of this incident.

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