Bond denied for suspect shot by Summerville police officers

The incident unfolded Wednesday on West Richardson Avenue. (Source: Live 5)
The incident unfolded Wednesday on West Richardson Avenue. (Source: Live 5)

SUMMERVILLE, SC (WCSC) - Bond was denied Thursday morning for a suspect shot by Summerville police officers after a traffic stop.

Twenty-three year old Taylor Johnson wore a sling on his arm during the hearing.

He was shot in the arm while trying to flee from officers.

The State Law Enforcement Division says one officer was hit in the leg by Johnson's car.

During his bond hearing Johnson told the judge he is not a flight risk.

"I'm not a flight risk. I have a son and he's down from North Carolina," Johnson said.

Summerville Police Lt. Nick Santanna read aloud Johnson's prior convictions.

They include failure to stop for a blue light, burglary, illegal possession of a weapon and a probation violation.

"I understand you have to determine whether or not Mr. Johnson is a flight risk or danger to society. I would argue he's the epitome of both," Santanna told the judge.

After court, Johnson's sister admitted her brother should not have fled the traffic stop but said officers went to far by shooting him.

"I think he was simply trying to back  away from the police to get away from them, yes because he does not have a driver's license. But I do not believe he tried to kill that an officer, I do not believe that," Samantha Dean said.

"I know he was wrong. It's the fact that they shot at someone that was not armed 17 times plus."

Bond for Johnson was set at $103,000 on drug charges and a charge of giving false information to police.

There is body cam video but no known dash cam video of the incident, he said.

Both the officer and Johnson were transported to an area hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries. A portion of West Richardson Avenue where the incident occurred was closed for most of the day.

SLED agents are investigating the incident, which is a standard procedure whenever a police officer or deputy fires his weapon at a suspect and the law enforcement agency request's SLED's assistance in the investigation.

The incident was the third officer-involved shooting in South Carolina so far this year and the first this year involving an officer with the Summerville Police Department, Berry said. In 2016, there were 41 officer-involved shootings in the state and none involved Summerville police.

A witness to the incident who works nearby claimed that from his vantage point, Johnson did not appear to be trying to run down an officer, but rather to escape the scene.

Copyright 2017 WCSC. All rights reserved.