Charleston Police officer won’t face charges in January officer-involved shooting

VIDEO: Charleston Police officer won’t face charges in January officer-involved shooting

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The Charleston Police officer involved in a shooting that left a carjacking suspect wounded in January will not face charges in the incident.

Ninth Circuit Solicitor Scarlett Wilson announced Monday the state would not pursue charges against the officer in the Jan. 19 incident after reviewing evidence from the State Law Enforcement Division.

That incident left Montrez Simmons severely injured.

“Based on the evidence presented to me by SLED, I find the officers knew Mr. Simmons was a violent threat and reasonably believed they and others were in imminent danger of great bodily injury or death from Mr. Simmons. They accurately believed Mr. Simmons was armed and dangerous,” Wilson said.

The Georgetown Police Department says they’re looking for a suspect involved in a stabbing that killed a man Friday night.
The Georgetown Police Department says they’re looking for a suspect involved in a stabbing that killed a man Friday night. (Source: Georgetown Police Department)

The incident began at approximately 6:23 p.m. on Jan. 19 when Charleston County dispatchers received a 911 call from a victim reporting his vehicle had just been stolen at Maple Street and Rutledge Avenue, police spokesman Charles Francis said.

The victim described the vehicle and provided the license plate number and a description of the carjacker.

“Two officers, assigned to the Charleston Police Department Quick Response Squad, were in a vehicle patrolling the north area of the peninsula when they observed the vehicle and attempted to conduct a traffic stop,” Francis said in a statement.

A short pursuit ended in the area of Spruill and Beech Avenue where police say Simmons was shot and officers rendered emergency medical care until EMS arrived.

Police said Simmons was also wanted by the Georgetown Police Department for a Jan. 8 fatal stabbing; and by the Mount Pleasant Police Department for a Jan. 17 carjacking. In the Mount Pleasant case, police said the victim was severely assaulted before the suspect stole his vehicle.

Charleston Police identified the officer involved in the shooting as Sammy Stevens, who was hired by the department in October 2015. He was placed on paid administrative leave, which is standard procedure while the incident was being investigated, Francis said.

The solicitor’s office reviewed witness statements and video from law enforcement in making the decision not to prosecute the officer, spokesperson Naomi Nation said.

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