When a deputy shoots a homeowner, it makes news. But when the police-involved shooting involves a white officer and a black man, it gets national attention, all things considered, citing a report from the SFGate news report.
South Carolina resident Bryant Heyward was shot in the neck by a deputy who responded to a 911 call about a home invasion at the location on Thursday. Investigators say officers met the homeowner at the rear door of his mobile home.
Heyward was in possession of a firearm and would not respond to commands to drop it. A deputy then shot the man in response to a possible threat. The police officer in the shooting is white; the homeowner is African-American.
— WTOP (@WTOP) May 9, 2015
Apparently, the situation was fluid: a bullet hole was seen in the home and two alleged suspects in the burglary attempt had just fled the scene on bicycles. But in a bit of irony, Heyward told paramedics that he was to blame for the deputy discharging his weapon.
— KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO (@KNX1070) May 8, 2015
For transparency, details of the shooting — in the form of a recording — were provided to community leaders and the public concerned about the incident.
“I saw officers and I should have put the gun down. I didn’t. They thought I was the crook and shot.”
The injured homeowner told a police investigator that he called for help when two men were allegedly trying to gain entry into the Hollywood home he shares with his mother. Heyward retreated to a bedroom and armed himself with his brother’s gun. A 911 call confirms the distress he was in at the time.
“Someone was trying to break into my house. Please come…. It’s an emergency and they have guns. Please come!”
Another 911 caller confirmed to operators of seeing two men fleeing the residence at the time of the shooting. According to the investigation, Deputy Keith Tyner voiced commands at Heyward to drop the weapon he was holding, to no avail. Deputy Richard Powell, who was on the scene, confirmed the details to police.
“As we were approaching, the back door swung open,” he wrote in a statement, before adding that he “heard Deputy Tyner shout verbal commands and that there was a gun” and “next heard gunfire as Deputy Tyner fired to suppress the threat.”
The next day, police arrested a suspect believed to be involved in the attempted home invasion. Thomas Zachary Brown, 22, is facing charges for attempted murder and first degree burglary. A warrant for the same charges has been issued for the second man, Joshua Achim Simmons.
The deputy’s shooting of the homeowner is the second incident involving a white officer gunning down a black man in recent months. Nearly five weeks ago, a North Charleston officer shot an unarmed black man after a brief foot chase. Reportedly, the contact between the two men began from a traffic stop — a broken tail light.
Officer Michael Slager was arrested and is facing murder charges for killing Walter Scott. Footage of the shooting shows Slager gunning down Scott from a distance as the unarmed man fled. A man walking to work captured the shooting on his mobile phone and the video was posted on the internet. The incident sparked rage, but prosecutors moved quickly to make an arrest in the case, according to previous Inquisitr report.
The shooting of the South Carolina homeowner by the deputy didn’t end in death, but it still has many concerned over the rise in officer-involved shootings that are cropping up in the news in recent history. According to Heyward’s attorney, his client is being treated for the gunshot wound, is unable to speak, and has no sensation from his waist down.
The shooting remains under investigation.
[Photo by Larry W. Smith/Getty Images]