Suspect shot by officer dead; coroner calls it suicide by cop

By Harve Jacobs  bio | email

SUMMERVILLE, SC (WCSC) - 28-year-old Christopher Campbell, the man shot by a Summerville police officer on Oct. 3, died Saturday of organ failure from multiple gunshot wounds, according to the coroner. The coroner also ruled the incident suicide by cop.

Campbell was facing a possible return trip to prison when he was shot by the officer. Campbell was wanted by Summerville cops for credit card fraud and by the Department of Probation and Parole for a probation violation in Dorchester County.

He was shot during a traffic stop on Wassamassaw Road after officers say he repeatedly ignored commands to put his gun down.

Campbell has been staying with close friend Alli Mathy since January. "He keeps telling me he'd rather be dead than be back in prison," she said.

She saw him about an hour and a half before the shooting. "I flipped. I didn't know what to think. I didn't know what to do. I still don't know what to do. It's just unreal. I still don't believe it," a stunned Mathy said. "He wasn't in the right state of mind Saturday. He'd been drinking. Of course, nobody's ever in the right state of mind when they're drinking and I think he just panicked. That's all it was, he just panicked."

Campbell has been in prison twice for burglary convictions. At the bottom of his rap sheet it says he's prohibited from possessing or acquiring a handgun in South Carolina. "He's a great guy. All that stuff he did when he was younger, he did his time for it. He made up for it," Mathy said.

Ten days ago, Campbell was featured as "Summerville's Most Wanted" in The Summerville Journal Scene newspaper. The once wanted, now wounded man is waiting to find out if he will be sent back to the big house.

State police are investigating the shooting. The officer who shot Campbell has been put on administrative duties.

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