Settlement reached for autistic teenager shot by retired deputy

Settlement reached for autistic teenager shot by retired deputy
Home where the shooting took place on Poplar Hill Drive

BERKELEY COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - A settlement has been reached in a lawsuit for an autistic teenager who was shot and wounded by a retired deputy who thought the teen was trying to break into his home in 2017, according to attorneys.

Attorney Ellis Roberts said his client, a young black teenager, who has autism was shot at point-blank range by a retired deputy after having an autistic episode while walking to his bus stop on his way to school.

SLED spokesman Thom Berry says it happened at a home on Poplar Hill Drive in Ridgeville in Mar. 2017.

The lawsuit was filed in Sept. 2018 against the deputy alleging the shooting was negligent.

Roberts said an autistic episode caused the teenager to run across the street and onto the front porch of his neighbor.

The teen was seen tapping on the porch window repeating the word “Hello,” and then the neighbor exited his home with a loaded firearm and shot him, the attorney’s press release states.

The teen’s mother says her son just wanted to go to school and could not help what happened to him.

“He was not a threat and was not attempting to burglarize anyone’s home," the mother said. "I hope today’s settlement reminds all those with loaded firearms to think before you shoot.”

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