Body cam footage, 911 call released in Upstate deputy-involved shooting

South Carolina News

SIMPSONVILLE, SC (WSPA) – Greenville County Sheriff’s Office officials released body camera footage and the 911 call related to a deputy-involved shooting that occurred in June in Simpsonville, Monday.

7 News reported back on June 14 that South Carolina Law Enforcement Division agents were investigating a deputy-involved shooting that happened at a home on Eastcrest Drive, following a panic alarm call at around 11:50 p.m.

In the Sheriff’s Office’s Critical Incident Community Briefing video released Monday on their Youtube channel, Capt. Tim Brown with the sheriff’s office’s ‘Office of Professional Standards,’ said the first deputy arrived on-scene just after midnight and noticed movement inside the home.

Brown said the deputy then returned to the front door and saw the homeowner, identified by his attorney as Dick Tench, holding a gun.

“According to the deputy, after noticing the man inside, he illuminates him with his flashlight and as he did so, the man who was initially walking away from the front door turned and pointed his gun at him. In an effort to defend himself against a perceived threat, the deputy fired his issued weapon as he retreated off the porch and subsequently struck the individual multiple times,” Brown said.

The deputy then reportedly went into the home and began to provide Tench medical assistance.

On the body camera footage, Tench tells the deputy to call the ambulance and later screams, “What’s wrong with you man?”

“Get the ambulance here, man, I’m going to f****** die,” the homeowner told the deputy. “You shot me here and you shot me here.”

“Why did you do that?” the homeowner asked the deputy after he was shot.

“Because you pointed a gun at me, man,” the deputy said.

“Dude, you come to my house at 12 o’clock at night. I’m sleeping. Godd***, I gotta protect my house. Oh my god. Get the ambulance here. I’m gonna die. I can’t believe you did this to me,” the homeowner said.

“We’re not going to talk about this right now,” the deputy told him. “We’re going to focus on keeping you alive, OK?”

Brown said Tench was taken to a nearby hospital, where he was later released and is currently in recovery.

“At this time in the investigation, we have learned that the panic alarm was received from a cell phone medical assist app from an occupant inside the residence,” Brown said. “However, there was no immediate emergency that was needed.”

Sheriff’s Office officials said the homeowner was not charged with any crime.

Tench’s attorney, Beattie B. Ashmore, told 7-News on Monday that Tench never pointed his weapon at the deputy.

“We now know from viewing the body camera footage that the front door was never opened, my client was shot 4 times through the glass window in his front door. And once the officer identified himself, my client crawled on his hands and knees and unblocked the front door,” said Ashmore.

“Dick did not point a firearm at the deputy. Dick did possess a firearm, he has a concealed weapons permit, but he did not point the firearm at the deputy. We would contest that.  You can also tell that Dick is yelling ‘Who the h*** are you, call the cops,’ which further establishes that the deputy never identified himself before he shot Dick.”

SLED agents recovered a Smith & Wesson .38 caliber pistol from the scene.

“Consistent with all officer-involved shootings, the South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division, along with the 13th Circuit Solicitor’s Office, will continue to investigate the facts, conduct interviews and analyze evidence to determine whether the deputy’s actions were within the scope of the law,” Lt. Ryan Flood said. “In a separate and internal investigation, the GCSO Office of Professional Standards will investigate to determine whether the deputy’s actions were consistent with the strict guidelines and standards set forth in the sheriff’s office policy.”

Lt. Jimmy Bolt with the sheriff’s office said the deputy involved in the incident is currently on administrative duty.

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