CHESTER COUNTY, SC (WBTV) - A man was killed in an officer-involved shooting following a chase in Chester County Tuesday night.
According to the Chester County Sheriff's Office, 20-year-old Dustin Case stole a 2015 Ford Fusion that was still running in the Super 8 Motel parking lot in Richburg, as its owner was checking in to the motel. Later, officers spotted the vehicle and tried to stop Case along Highway 9.
The car traveled into city limits, where Chester police tried to pull Case over, but he continued. Sheriff Alex Underwood says Case lost control of the car when he went over the railroad tracks on Saluda Street. Sheriff Underwood says the car spun out and came to a stop at the intersection of First Street and Saluda Street.
Authorities say one officer from the Chester Police Department and one from the Chester County Sheriff's Office approached the vehicle. Case allegedly pointed a semi-automatic handgun at the officers as he was exiting the vehicle. Both officers fired multiple times hitting Case in the chest. He died from his injuries.
"I definitely think the shooting was justified," Sheriff Underwood said. "They put their lives on the line every day and this situation saved people in Chester, saved the individuals on the street and people in the community and we're very fortunate that our officers were not injured."
Sheriff Underwood and Chester Police Chief Eric Williams say they are withholding the officer's names at this time, but both are on administrative leave and are veterans of the force.
Officers say a handgun, cash and a substantial number of drugs were found on the scene. They say it is unclear whether those items belonged to Case or if they were already in the car when Case stole it.
SLED says dash camera footage and body camera footage may have captured the incident, but it still needed to be reviewed. Once SLED finishes the investigation, the results will be sent to Solicitor Randy Newman to decide whether or not the shooting was justified.
Just a yard away from where the shooting happened is where Chalmers Gaston lives.
"I was just in my room and heard rapid fire," Gaston said.
His neighbor, Patsy Mora says she heard the same rapid-fire sounds.
"I heard the sirens and they got closer and closer and closer and then pretty soon they stopped and I heard 'pow, pow, pow, pow, pow'," Mora said.
Gaston and Mora say they walked outside, but were kept a distance away from the crime scene. Mora says the windows of the car involved were shattered.
"It did scare us, like I said, this is the second killing I've experienced since I've been here and I've been here 20 years," Mora said. "The first one happened right outside my bedroom where I sleep and now this one was real close too, I hope it's the last one."
"We hear gunshots a lot here in this area, it used to be good, but over the years it's not real good anymore," Mora said.