Sheriff: Man used AK-47 in shooting that killed deputy, injured another

Published: Sep. 10, 2014 at 5:42 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 11, 2014 at 2:21 AM EDT
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Cannon addressing the press during Wednesday afternoon's press conference.
Cannon addressing the press during Wednesday afternoon's press conference.
Deputy Joe Matuskovic and Deputy Michael Ackerman Source - CCSO.jpg
Deputy Joe Matuskovic and Deputy Michael Ackerman Source - CCSO.jpg
Michael Oswald Source - CCSO.jpg
Michael Oswald Source - CCSO.jpg

CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - Charleston County Sheriff Al Cannon said a 38-year-old man who used an AK-47 rifle to shoot and kill a deputy, and injure two other deputies, Monday night died after deputies returned fire.

During a Wednesday afternoon press conference, Cannon said Michael Oswald died after he was shot twice by deputies' return fire after Oswald fired shots striking deputies at the Gardens at Ashley River apartment complex in West Ashley.

"He was using an AK-47 type rifle. That is a very powerful round."

The incident led to the evacuation of the apartment complex and the closure of nearby roads. The sheriff's office says after investigators entered the apartment several hours later, they found Oswald dead.

The shooting took the life of Deputy Joseph Matuskovic, and injured Deputy Michael Ackerman who was also shot, but is expected to recover.

According to Cannon, Matsukovic had numerous wounds from bullet fragments and was struck by a bullet that went through his body armor.

Cannon said Ackerman was shot in the knee and is walking with the aid of a walker.

"I think there's a lot of pain and suffering in the Lowcountry not just the sheriff's office," said Cannon who spoke about Matsukovic."He had been in law enforcement for a good long while and made friends with various agencies. We are a very close knit enforcement community, we are making plans to accommodate the family and their wishes."

Cannon said there was a great deal of emotion, pain and suffering felt by all from the incident.

"We lost a close friend of law enforcement and a friend who came out to assist," Cannon said referring to Matuskovic and Larry Britton, a 58-year-old Charleston County employee who died of an apparent cardiac event while assisting law enforcement with the incident.

According to Cannon, a third deputy was also wounded in the shooting, and suffered minor injuries from a graze wound.

Oswald is accused of firing shots when deputies tried to talk to him through the door of his apartment on Carriage Lane. 

Cannon said Oswald used an AK-47 rifle, which Oswald owned legally, in the incident. Cannon also said that Oswald had no mental health history, and pending toxicology reports will determine Oswald's level of intoxication.

The Sheriff says much more detail will come to light after SLED completes its investigation.

"Those efforts generally take time to get results back to accomplish all of the interviews that are required. That is weighed and balanced with the reality of the need of getting information out."

Support is continuing to pour in for the sheriff's office and the families of the deputies who were shot.

Chaplain Rob Dewey is helping officers and their loved ones get through this difficult time. He says healing will take time and that it's very important that deputies not pull away from others as they cope.

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