The North Charleston police officer who fatally shot a man on Saturday had only one chance to deploy his department-issued Taser.
According to police paperwork, Officer Michael Slager shot Walter Scott after Scott grabbed Slager's Taser following a foot chase which stemmed from an attempted traffic stop. North Charleston Police spokesperson Spencer Pryor said officers are issued an X26 Taser model. A newer, digitized X26p Taser model may also be issued.
A spokesperson for Taser said the X26 will only deploy once before a new cartridge is required. Spokesperson Steve Tuttle said it is unlikely that an officer would have the necessary time to manually reload their Taser when faced with an aggressive suspect.
According to police paperwork, a responding officer reported hearing Slager advise that he deployed his Taser. Seconds later, the officer says he heard, "Shots fired and the subject is down. He took my Taser."
Tuttle said the X26 Taser can also be used in drive stun mode, which requires the officer to maintain physical contact between the suspect and the Taser.
"A person can recover instantly, or even fight the effects," Tuttle said, adding that the feature is not incapacitating, and is meant to induce pain.
A Taser is only effective when it is deployed at a certain distance away from the suspect, Tuttle said. Ten to 12 feet is the optimal distance. Otherwise, Tuttle said, the electrode prongs are not able to fully spread.
Slager has been placed on administrative duty, according to Pryor.