Man shot by NCPD officer after stabbing deputy has died, coroner says

VIDEO: CCSO: Man shot by N. Charleston PD officer after deputy cut by knife
Sheriff Al Cannon giving a late Wednesday night presser in W. Ashley (Source: WCSC)
Sheriff Al Cannon giving a late Wednesday night presser in W. Ashley (Source: WCSC)
Authorities investigating report of shots fired in West Ashley. (Source: WCSC)
Authorities investigating report of shots fired in West Ashley. (Source: WCSC)

WEST ASHLEY, SC (WCSC) - The Charleston County Coroner's Office has confirmed a man who was shot by a North Charleston police officer Wednesday night after he reportedly attacked a deputy has died.

Coroner Rae Wooten says 43-year-old James Cooper died on the operating table at MUSC Thursday around midnight due to injuries suffered in the shooting.

Representatives for Cooper's wife released the following statement Thursday afternoon:

"Mrs. Cooper is devastated by the series of events that occurred last night involving James Cooper. Please allow her to grieve the loss of her husband in private. The family will not be making any statements until after the investigation is complete. Thank you for your understanding. Please keep your thoughts and prayers with our family."

North Charleston Police say Patrolman First Class Sam Southers, who shot Cooper, is on paid administrative duty. Southers has been with the department since May of 2008.

Charleston County Sheriff Al Cannon said James Cooper was transported to the Medical University of South Carolina after he was shot in the abdomen by a NCPD officer at Cooper's home at the Village Green subdivision in West Ashley.

Cannon said the CCSO deputy who was attacked by Cooper was treated at the scene.

The sheriff said the incident started when North Charleston police were searching for Cooper, who was wanted for second-degree burglary.

"Shortly before 9 p.m. this evening, North Charleston officers were searching for an individual, and located a residence here and called the sheriff's office for assistance in serving a warrant," Cannon said.

Four North Charleston police officers and two Charleston County deputies responded to the home.

Incident report provides insight on events leading to the shooting

The Charleston County Sheriff's Office released an incident report Thursday morning, identifying the deputy who was reportedly attacked and providing new details in the shooting.

According to an incident report, the officers rang the door bell and knocked on the front door of the home but got no response. A deputy then made contact with Cooper's wife at the back door of the home.

Cooper's wife reportedly told the officer she was aware of the warrant for Cooper's arrest, and said he was upstairs. She then gave the responding officer permission to enter the home, the report states.

"They cleared the first floor, they then went up to the second floor where they confronted Cooper," Cannon said.

Once upstairs, three North Charleston police officers and one Charleston County deputy, identified as Deputy Christopher Schwerin, made contact with Cooper. 

According to CCSO officials, Schwerin holstered his weapon, assuming he was going to take Cooper into custody. Cannon says Cooper then rushed Schwerin with a knife and swung at him, resulting in a struggle. 

"[Schwerin] deflected the arm, but still received a very minor cut to the side of his cheek, and a sort of defensive wound to his thumb," Cannon said. 

Cannon said Cooper then knocked the deputy to the ground and into the bathroom. It was at that point when one of the North Charleston police officers shot Cooper in the abdomen, according to Cannon.

CCSO officials say the shooting happened around 9:06 p.m.

According to the report, the North Charleston officers rendered aid to Cooper until EMS arrived. The suspect was then transported to MUSC under police escort.

The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, who was called by NCPD to assist, is investigating the shooting, while the sheriff's office is investigating the assault of their deputy.

Schwerin was hired by the Sheriff's Office in October 1993, according to a CCSO spokesperson.

Cooper was wanted on a charge of second-degree burglary for an incident that happened at a day spa at 8600 Dorchester Road between April 22 & 23.

Cannon said investigators found Cooper's prints at the scene which was the basis for the warrant.

The Charleston Police Department, the Charleston County Sheriff's Office and North Charleston police responded to the scene.

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