Charleston County deputy who fatally shot suspect won’t face charges, solicitor says

Charleston County News

CHARLESTON COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) – A Charleston County deputy who fatally shot a suspect last month will not face any charges.

Scarlett A. Wilson, Solicitor for the Ninth Judicial Circuit, said in a letter to Charleston County Sheriff Kristin Graziano that one of her deputies involved in a September 18th shooting acted within their capacity as law enforcement personnel when they struck a suspect during an incident in West Ashley.

Solicitor Wilson said the deputy cooperated with the State Law Enforcement Division’s investigation and provided a voluntary statement of the incident.

“Based upon my review of what SLED provided us, it appears that on September 18, 2021, at approximately 7:30 a.m., multiple callers reported to Charleston County Consolidated Dispatch that suspect Jason Husted was outside his residence … armed with a handgun and firing multiple gunshots at neighboring houses,” Solicitor Wilson wrote.

She said callers reported some of Husted’s fired bullets entered their homes and one person reported that they saw the suspect holding his wife hostage in the backyard.

Deputies with the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office responded to calls about shots being fired on Mona Avenue in the Springfield neighborhood where witnesses told them their houses and cars had been struck. One deputy’s patrol car was also hit.

Authorities said one of the deputies took cover as shots were fired, and returned fire at Husted, striking him in the upper torso. He was taken to the Medical University of South Carolina where he later died.

The deputy, Nicholas Vecchione, was placed on paid administrative leave amid an investigation.

Solicitor Wilson said the deputy only fired their gun three times. “This is substantiated by the multiple 911 callers who witnessed Husted firing his weapon in the front and back yard before and after officers arrived at the scene,” she wrote.

She went on to say, “After review the evidence provided to me, it is abundantly clear that Deputy Vecchione, all other law enforcement officers on scene, Husted’s wife, and neighbors were in actual and imminent danger of death and or great bodily harm from Husted’s behavior.”

Wilson said Deputy Vecchione reasonably and lawfully exercised deadly force toward Husted in this incident. “The deadly use of force was reasonable, appropriate, and lawful in response to the unlawful actions of Jason Husted,” she said.

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