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.