Coroner rules death of man shot by Dorchester Co. deputies as suicide by cop

RAW VIDEO: Authorities investigating deputy-involved shooting in Summerville

DORCHESTER COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - The Dorchester County Coroner's Office has ruled the deputy-involved shooting death of a 24-year-old man as suicide by cop.

Coroner Chris Nisbet announced Monday night that Shamir Terrel Palmer of Ridgeville died from a gunshot wound to the chest due to "intentional lethal confrontation with law enforcement."

A report by the coroner's office states that Palmer suffered from other multiple gunshot wounds "but none being life threatening, to his extremities."

According to Nisbet, Palmer had made a statement to friends that he "was not going back to prison, period."

"The definition of suicide is, the taking of ones own life or creating conditions leading to it," Nisbet said in a statement Monday night."This is what I have determined to be the previous shots fired by the decedent at law enforcement and the raising of a deadly weapon at Sheriffs deputies after his vehicle finally stalled out due to multiple collisions during the attempted traffic stop/chase."

Sheriff L.C. Knight said on Monday that the three deputies involved in the shooting were on paid leave pending an investigation. 

"We are not in the business of going out and hurting and killing people, we are out to protect people," Knight said.

Knight says his deputies had no choice but to shoot Palmer after a chase early Saturday morning.

Investigators say a few hours earlier, Palmer was involved in another shooting in Ridgeville, then fired a shot at a Highway Patrol trooper who tried to pull him over for speeding.

Deputies then chased Palmer through several neighborhoods where his car struck a house, according to authorities.

After being cornered on Lake Schultz Drive, investigators say Palmer pulled out a gun and refused to drop it.

That's when authorities say deputies opened fire.

"We train and react to situations and this was a situation where this young man apparently did not want to abide what he was being asked to do," Knight said.

State Law Enforcement Division agents at the scene reported finding what they believe was Palmer's gun.

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