Neighbor recalls events leading up to Goose Creek officer-involved shooting

VIDEO: Neighbor recalls events leading up to Goose Creek officer-involved shooting

GOOSE CREEK, SC (WCSC) - "I saw an arm sticking out behind the tree, firing a gun," said Sylvia Myers as she looked at the palm tree in the yard next door on Whisper Way. "I knew it was a gun because I saw a muzzle blast."

Myers has lived in the Saint James Estates neighborhood in Goose Creek for nearly 30 years.

She can remember the detailed events that happened Thursday evening that led up to an officer-involved shooting in her neighborhood.

Friday the Berkeley County Coroner identified the female suspect at 36-year-old Laura Lemieux.

Officials say she was staying at her friend's home on Whisper Way when the shooting happened.

"I don't think I slept at all this morning," Myers said.

Myers and other neighbors said this section of the housing complex is fairly quiet.

That changes last night when SLED, the Berkeley County Sheriff's Office and other agencies arrived on scene shortly after 7:30 p.m.

Before that all happened though, Myers was putting out her trash earlier that night.

That's when she said she noticed Laura Lemieux sitting on the curb with a laptop, crying.

"I got closer and asked 'are you okay?' and she said 'yes ma'am. I'm fine,'" Myers recalled.

Myers went on to say that another neighbor of hers checked on the woman as well.

"She asked if she was okay," Myers said. "And the woman says 'I just want to die'. And then she fired the gun."

Myers said her neighbor ran inside and called 911.

Myers said she heard that first "popping sound" but thought it was a firecracker.

It wasn't until she heard two more pops a few minutes later that she decided to go to her window and see what was going on.

That's when she saw Lemieux's arm from behind the tree. She immediately called 911.

Myers said she and her friends stayed on the phone with each other tracking Lemieux's movements outside.

" thought she was walking very odd," Myers said. "We had heard some more shots, and I said 'well, do you think she hurt herself?'"

According to an incident report from the Berkeley County Sheriff's Office, Lemieux was randomly shooting a gun at houses and in the air.

Myers and her neighbors stayed on the phone as they waited for help to arrive.

"All of a sudden there they were," Myers said. "They had apparently came through the front yards of Whisper Way, hiding themselves from her point of view. Then when they surrounded her they turned on their flash lights."

The Berkeley County Sheriff's Office said they used non-lethal force to try to get Lemieux into custody, but they said she then pointed a gun at deputies. That's when they said they shot her.

"They called over a police woman, I believe," Myers recalled. "She came over to do CPR while they waited for the ambulance."

Lemieux was taken to Trident Medical Center where she was pronounced dead shortly before 9:00 p.m.

Myers said she was staying with her friend at her neighbor's home.

"Just a sad tragedy," Myers said.

The Berkeley County Coroner has not ruled a cause of death at this time.

SLED and the Sheriff's Office says the investigation is ongoing.

According to SLED, this is the 40th officer-involved shooting in South Carolina in 2015, and the third this year involving a deputy of the Berkeley County Sheriff's Office.

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