Solicitor: No charges to be filed against York Co deputy who shot, killed man during call

Solicitor: No charges to be filed against York Co deputy who shot, killed man during call
Credit: York County Sheriff's Office
Credit: York County Sheriff's Office

YORK COUNTY, SC (WBTV) - A York County deputy who reportedly shot and killed a man while responding to a disturbance call in December 2017 will not face charges, the solicitor said Tuesday.

Deputy Gary Pence responded to a disturbance call near the 700 block of East Old Limestone Road around 4 a.m. on Dec. 1. That's when Deputy Pence reportedly shot and killed 33-year-old Trent Fondren.

According to York County Solicitor Kevin Brackett, Fondren was intoxicated and was "threatening his mother with a knife." Fondren then allegedly "quickly" walked towards the deputy's vehicle while armed with a knife, Brackett said.

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Deputy Pence then reportedly got out of his patrol vehicle and pulled out a gun while yelling commands for Fondren to drop his weapon, according to Brackett, The solicitor states that Fondren continued to approach the deputy in an "aggressive fashion."

That's when the deputy allegedly retreated down the road "to maintain a safe reaction distance" from Fondren while continuing to order him to drop his knife, according to the solicitor.

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Fondren then reportedly entered Pence's patrol vehicle, which was running. Brackett states that the deputy's rifle was located in between the seats. It's believed that Fondren attempted to deploy the gun, which is when Pence fatally shot Fondren, according to Brackett.

Brackett released this statement:

"He had only seconds to react and decide how to respond and was forced to make his decisions in very limited visibility. Despite his best efforts to buy time to talk by retreating, Deputy Pence was placed in an untenable position by the actions of Mr. Fondren and was left with no choice but to use deadly force to eliminate the clear threat he posed when he commandeered a patrol car equipped with an assault rifle."

The solicitor stated that the deputy's use of force was justified and reasonable.

Pence was not injured in the incident. He was placed on administrative leave following the incident, which is protocol for an officer-involved shooting. He has been with the York County Sheriff's Office since October 2016.

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