Report: Man killed in SWAT standoff had mental issues

Published: Sep. 18, 2012 at 8:36 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 19, 2012 at 7:27 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn
Richard Cathcart died Tuesday night. (Source: CCDC)
Richard Cathcart died Tuesday night. (Source: CCDC)

MT. PLEASANT, SC (WCSC) - The coroner's office says a 60-year-old man died following a standoff at his home off Bowman Road where he was shot multiple times by the Mt. Pleasant SWAT team after he pointed a gun at them.

Officials with the coroner's office identified the man as Richard Cathcart III, who died from a gunshot wound to the chest.

The SWAT team was seen rushing the home on Wappetaw Place after shots were fired Tuesday evening.

"The subject came out of the residence and engaged the officers," said Mt. Pleasant police Major Stan Gragg. "The officers returned fire and the subject was hit multiple times. They felt their safety was in danger and engaged him with gunfire."

An ambulance was then seen coming into the neighborhood and leaving with the subject en route to a local hospital.

An incident report states officers responded to the scene around 2:30 p.m. after Cathcart's wife called dispatchers and told them her husband had been drinking alcohol and had a gun.

Cathcart's wife said she left the home when he told her he was going to get the gun.  A little later, a neighbor walked over to speak to Cathcart, and he threatened to shoot her, the report states.

Cathcart's wife also told dispatchers her husband was prescribed medications for mental issues, according to the report.

Investigators said the man had been taunting the SWAT team during the three-hour standoff.  According to a report, Cathcart yelled "I'll kill you" and "get out of the car" as he pointed his weapon at officers outside.

The report also states Cathcart said, "If you want me, come inside."

"When he came out earlier he was basically coming out and taunting officers," said Gragg, who wouldn't comment on how Cathcart was taunting them. "He would go back into the house shortly thereafter but at no time did he attempt to surrender to their commands."

Jacob Cohn, who lives a block away from Tuesday night's standoff, said he never believed this would be a reality in his backyard.

"I would never have thought somebody would hold themselves up and start a shootout with police in Mt. Pleasant," said Cohn. "It's like World War three is going on outside."

Cohn says he's lived in the area for the last 12 years and can't remember a time when something like this happened.

"It makes life a little more precious to you knowing that there's somebody out there that really could snap and shoot you," he said. "You got to be careful when you go out there even though it's Mt. Pleasant."

Before the standoff, residents of ten nearby homes were evacuated as a precaution.

Copyright 2012 WCSC.  All rights reserved.