Intersection renamed in honor of fallen Charleston Co. deputy

Intersection renamed in honor of fallen Charleston Co. deputy
This sign was unveiled at Friday morning's dedication. (Source: Live 5)
This sign was unveiled at Friday morning's dedication. (Source: Live 5)

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A West Ashley intersection received a new name Friday in honor of a fallen officer.

Highway 171 at Carriage lane was renamed the Deputy Sheriff Joseph J. Matuskovic Memorial Intersection in memory of the Charleston County deputy who was killed in the line of duty on Sept. 8, 2014.

According to CCSO investigators, Matuskovic was one of the deputies responding to a disturbance at the Gardens of Ashley River apartment complex.

Deputies say the incident started at 7:36 p.m. when two off-duty deputies working as security officers, with three on-duty deputies assisting, responded to a report of a disorderly subject creating a disturbance. The person was reportedly banging on doors and vehicles in the parking lot, deputies say.

According to deputies on the scene, an attempt was made to make contact with a subject at his apartment.

While deputies were attempting to make contact, the subject fired multiple gunshots through the door with an AK-47, striking two of the deputies, a report states. The rounds pierced the soft body armor Matuskovic was wearing, Sheriff Al Cannon said.

A second deputy, Michael Ackerman, was wounded in the leg, Cannon said.

Both of the deputies who were wounded were on duty at the time and had been called into assist the two off-duty officers.

Matuskovic, 43, died at 8:37 p.m. at MUSC, according to Charleston County Coroner Rae Wooten. Ackerman underwent surgery his wound.

During the standoff, Larry Britton, 58, a Charleston County employee who worked with the radio shop and was serving the responding law enforcement officers in a support capacity, fell ill and died of natural causes, Wooten said. Charleston County Director of Radio Communications Bill Tunick says Britton went to the scene to help the sheriff's office and joint command. He suffered from an apparent heart complication and was taken to MUSC by EMS.

More than 1,000 family members, friends and law enforcement officers attended the deputy's funeral days later.

A tribute to Matuskovic's memory in the week after his death prompted residents to illuminate their porches with blue light. The tribute was so popular stores across the Lowcountry reported selling out of blue bulbs.

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