Solicitor clears Dorchester County deputies in fatal shooting

Solicitor clears Dorchester County deputies in fatal shooting

The First Circuit Solicitor has cleared three Dorchester County deputies of any wrongdoing in connection with the fatal shooting of a 24-year-old man.

Solicitor David Pascoe said he found no wrongdoing on the part of the deputies involved in the Aug. 8 shooting of Shamir Terrel Palmer of Ridgeville.

According to DCSO officials, Palmer was shot and killed after pointing a gun at deputies following a chase where Palmer shot at a Highway Patrol trooper.

Palmer's death had been ruled by the Dorchester County Coroner's Office as suicide by cop. 

Pascoe cited reports filed by officers and dash camera video as elements he looked over to come to his conclusion.

"Nothing in the videos discounts any of the officers' accounts of the fatal shooting of Mr. Palmer," Pascoe said in a statement."In Deputy Carter's in-car video Mr. Palmer does appear to grasp an object in both hands while exiting the vehicle. However, the view is quickly obstructed by Deputy Tuck's vehicle. On Deputy Carter's video, just after Mr. Palmer exits the vehicle, someone shouts, 'He's got a gun!' Though these videos do not provide specifically what manner the subject was pointing a pistol at the officers, they are all absolutely consistent with the officers' accounts."

In addition, Pascoe says the officers' accounts are further validated by the presence of a .22 caliber pistol found near the driver's side door and a spent .22 caliber shell casing inside the front driver's side door.

Pascoe said that Palmer had an extensive and violent criminal history, and prior to the incident was allegedly involved in a shooting earlier that morning.

"Mr. Palmer's actions during the early morning hours of August 8, 2015 placed many lives in danger," Pascoe said.

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.

"This incident underscores the incredibly dangerous job our law enforcement officers are tasked with daily," Pascoe said. "All of the evidence suggests that the officers involved acted from a good faith and reasonable belief that deadly force was necessary to protect themselves, their fellow officers, and other citizens in the area from a significant risk of death or serious bodily injury caused by Mr. Palmer."

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