SLED: Motion-activated camera stopped recording just before Curnell shooting automatically

SLED: Motion-activated camera stopped recording just before Curnell shooting automatically

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A spokesman for the State Law Enforcement Division clarified details late Friday surrounding a gap in surveillance footage mentioned in their investigation of the June 20 shooting that left a 19-year-old man dead.

SLED spokesman Thom Berry said as far as investigators have been able to determine, the surveillance system used by the apartment complex was motion-activated and would begin recording only when it sensed movement.

The SLED report summary states the property manager of Bridgeview Apartments, who told investigators she learned of the shooting from a Live 5 News alert sent at 11:10 p.m., found a five-minute gap in surveillance footage that would have covered the moment Curnell was fatally wounded.

"It would start recording when it detected a certain amount of motion within its point of view. It records for a specified amount of time, then stops," Berry said. "The video looks a bit jerky," Berry added, stating it looks like it begins recording, then jumps ahead, then jumps ahead again.

The property manager said she was called to the scene and asked to review any surveillance footage that might exist of the incident. She told investigators the footage showed the officer approaching a "figure in black" near Building 127 at 10:27 p.m., but at that point the camera view jumped five minutes to 10:32 p.m., and showed the officer standing near the rear of his car and other officers arriving, the report states.

The property manager said she was unable to retrieve viewable footage from 10:27 p.m. to 10:32 p.m. She told investigators she notified the vender of the surveillance camera system and was told they were also "unable to retrieve the footage."

As far as investigators can determine, Berry said, there is no sign that the footage was tampered with in any way.

It is unclear how long the camera was programmed to record based on sensing movement or exactly how much movement would have been required for it to have started recording again in time to have captured the incident as it happened.

Ninth Circuit Solicitor Scarlett Wilson sent a letter to SLED on Monday, stating the evidence in the investigation made it "clear" to her that Curnell's death was a suicide and that her office would not seek an indictment against the officer who was present at the time of the shooting.

The property manager told SLED investigators that the officer had worked on site for approximately two years at the time of the shooting but had not received any complaints about him.

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