‘You gonna die’: New report details fatal officer-involved shooting

Published: Sep. 16, 2022 at 10:20 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 17, 2022 at 5:27 AM EDT
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GEORGETOWN, S.C. (WCSC) - An investigation report from the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division provides new details about what led up to a deadly officer-involved shooting in Georgetown.

In the report, SLED says James Frazier, Jr., 50, was identified as the suspect in an armed robbery at a gas station on Exchange Street on the morning of July 16. It was not until about four hours later, around noon, that authorities found and identified Frazier. Georgetown Police officer Stephen Cribb called for backup.

After Cribb radioed for help, the report says Frazier began running toward the officer with a knife in his hands.

“I hear somebody screaming! Hey! Get on the ground!” Cribb yelled. “Hey, you got a knife! He’s got a knife!”

Cribb drew his gun and pointed it at Frazier, but SLED says the suspect continued to run.

Frazier yelled, “you gonna die!” at Cribb, among other expletives; Cribb fired a shot, but Frazier kept running. Cribb fired another, hitting the suspect in the arm; The officer yelled, “get on the ground!” and “drop the knife,” but Frazier did not comply, the report states.

It was not until a fifth shot, which hit Frazier in the head, knocked the suspect to the ground. Cribb called for EMS over his radio. The situation lasted approximately three minutes.

The Georgetown County Coroner identified Frazier, of Myrtle Beach, and pronounced him dead at the scene.

Lieutenant Johnell Sparkman, who was off-duty at the time of the incident, responded to the scene and asked if Cribb was alright. “Yeah,” Cribb replied, “he was charging me.”

“He kept charging you and kept going after you man, ain’t nothing you could do,” Sparkman replied.

SLED says Frazier had already pled guilty and served time for stabbing and killing a woman in 2007.

The 15th Circuit Solicitor Jimmy Richardson says the state will not be pursuing charges against Officer Cribb. Richardson says in a letter to SLED:

I grieve for Mr. Frazier’s family, but I am thankful Officer Cribb nor any other officer/citizen were injured … Officer Cribb acted appropriately under the circumstances.

The incident was the 18th officer-involved shooting in the state this year and the first involving the Georgetown Police Department. That agency had no officer-involved shootings in 2021, SLED said.