Editor's Note: This year, Drug War Chronicle is going to try to track every death directly attributable to drug law enforcement during the year. We can use your help. If you come across a news account of a killing related to drug law enforcement, please send us an email at [email protected].]
According to law enforcement sources, a Greenwood County drug task force was attempting to arrest David Philip Chapman Jr., when he attempted to get away and opened fire on deputies. Deputy TJ Timmons was shot and wounded. He was briefly hospitalized and released. Other officers and deputies opened fire on Chapman, killing him.
According to another report citing police, the task force was serving a warrant at Chapman's home when he fled. Officers chased him into the back yard of a nearby home, where he produced a pistol, shooting the deputy in the upper leg. Several Greenwood police officers then returned fire, killing Chapman.
"There was a physical struggle when this person produced the gun, and I think they had no choice," said Greenwood Police Chief Gerald Brooks. "When a man pulls a gun and you're struggling with him, you've got no choice but to return fire."
Chapman had twice been convicted of possession of less than a gram of crack cocaine, along with several other relatively low-level offenses. It's not known why police were attempting to arrest him Wednesday.
The officers who shot Chapman have been placed on paid administrative leave pending an investigation by the State Law Enforcement Division (SLED).