A1 A1
top story
Greenwood officer involved in fatal shooting

A Greenwood police officer fatally shot a man Thursday night while responding to a domestic dispute, authorities said.

The officer responded at about 9:30 p.m. to a residence on North Hospital Street, said Jonathan Link, Greenwood Police public information officer.

Link said a man at the scene had a gun. At some point, a struggle ensued between the man and the officer and the man shot the officer once in the bulletproof vest. The officer returned fire, killing the individual.

The officer is OK and was taken to the hospital for evaluation, Link said.

Greenwood County Coroner Sonny Cox said 60-year-old Willie Lee Quarles Sr. died inside the residence after receiving at least one gunshot wound to the chest.

State Law Enforcement Division agents responded to the shooting, SLED spokesman Tommy Crosby said in an email. Link said SLED will conduct interviews and review available recordings to look into how police handled the situation.

The officer will be on administrative leave during the investigation, Link said.

“This is the day we hope doesn’t happen, but it’s why we all train the way we do,” Link said.

Police had a stretch of North Hospital Street at the intersection of Brewer Avenue taped off to protect the integrity of the scene, which spanned multiple houses. At the Brewer Avenue end of the scene, a crowd of several dozen people gathered to watch police.

Officers at the scene were carrying rifles, which Link said was to help protect the scene in light of what he described as security issues. He said the additional arms were in response to having a large scene at a three-way intersection, with crowds gathering at night.

Greenwood Police Chief Gerald Brooks was on scene for a while before leaving, and Sheriff Dennis Kelly appeared later. He said deputies, along with officers from the Ninety Six Police Department, had offered to help Greenwood’s police with patrolling and answering calls while so many officers were busy at North Hospital Street.

Funds to save Trinity Episcopal could be generated from use as event space

Once Trinity Episcopal Church in Abbeville is permitted to reopen, church use as an event space, in addition to a place of Christian worship, could generate funds needed to complete renovations on the historic church, consecrated in 1860.

Preservation South Carolina and Friends of Trinity of Abbeville are optimistic that plan can work for renovation funds and money for the church’s needs going forward.

To that end, Preservation SC, a nonprofit dedicated to saving the state’s historic structures, has hired Anna LaGrone of Abbeville as program coordinator for its Sacred Spaces initiative, to help find ways to market the historic church as a space for weddings, concerts, educational programs and community gatherings.

Part of the job is also to attract a tenant or buyer for a donated service station building near the church, at the corner of Church and Vienna streets. The service station was donated by Beaty Oil Co.

LaGrone will be in a donated office space at 114 Court Square in Abbeville, from which the campaign to save Trinity will operate.

“Space on the square was donated by Bill Rogers, Abbeville Historical Society member” said Mike Bedenbaugh, Preservation SC’s executive director. “It is right next to The Rough House. ... Once we can get the church open, we can start having fundraising events in it that will make raising funds to complete renovations easier. We foresee the church opening this summer.”

LaGrone said part of the goal is to create a sustainable business model for the church, to ensure that it remains an anchor for downtown Abbeville.

The church has a small congregation and LaGrone said the entire community could be a part of restoration fundraising.

“My hope is to translate the community’s love for Trinity into a sense of responsibility for this sacred space,” LaGrone said. “I am so grateful to Bill (Rodgers) for his generosity in providing office space.”

Bedenbaugh said Trinity Episcopal’s roof work is complete and temporary measures have been taken to secure the church’s steeple, but work inside the sanctuary needs to be finished along with some power connection work and approval from building inspection officials before the church can reopen. Bedenbaugh said a new heating, ventilation and air conditioning system has been installed. In April, the church’s leaning steeple was detached, anchored and straightened in a temporary fix.

“The church is still not fully renovated,” Bedenbaugh said. “With $200,000 or more left to raise, we can do the permanent fix on the steeple. We won’t know how short we are from that goal until people start writing checks. If we want to maintain the church and have it open for more than the next 12 months, we have to get the final monies in to make permanent fixes to the steeple.”

Preservation SC named Trinity Episcopal Church to its Places at Risk List in April of 2018. Before that, the church had been closed for worship and other gatherings because its 125-foot tall steeple was in danger of collapse.

Donate online at restoretrinity.org or mail contributions Preservation South Carolina, Sacred Spaces Restore Trinity Fund, Post Office Box 448, Abbeville, SC 29620.

Magnolia Manor Greenwood has 12 confirmed cases of COVID-19

Seven residents and five staff members at Magnolia Manor Greenwood tested positive for the novel coronavirus, the nursing home said Thursday morning.

“While we are disappointed that Magnolia Manor Greenwood has residents and staff with COVID-19, we are working day and night to keep everyone safe and to prevent further spread of this extremely contagious virus,” Magnolia Manor said in a statement emailed to the Index-Journal. “Since our first positive case, we have remained in constant communication with state and local health officials and we have monitored and followed the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and continue to do so.”

The Index-Journal contacted Magnolia Manor on Wednesday after the state Department of Health and Environmental Control first reported a positive case at 1415 Parkway facility.

For continued prevention of the novel coronavirus, the nursing home implemented increased infection control and prevention measures, screenings for each individual that comes into the facility to check for signs and symptoms of illness, regular deep cleanings throughout the facility and permitting essential personnel only to enter the building. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendations regarding the use of personal protective equipment and employing isolation and distancing protocols are also being followed.

“We will continue to work closely with with federal, state and local health officials to provide and receive updates and directives on the latest developments surrounding COVID-19 to ensure we are taking the appropriate steps to protect our entire community at Magnolia Manor Greenwood,” the statement said.

As of Tuesday, 1,078 residents and 472 staff members have tested positive at 108 nursing homes and other residential care facilities statewide since April 3; 154 residents and two staff members have died in South Carolina, but no deaths have been recorded locally at such facilities. DHEC is in the process of testing residents and staff members at all such facilities for COVID-19.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported nursing home populations were at a high risk of being infected by — and dying from — COVID-19. The increased risk has put nursing homes across the United States on high alert, but facilities have continued to struggle to contain the spread of the new coronavirus.