Back in July, I wrote about in incident in South Carolina where a deputy shot a homeowner from outside the man’s home. Now, local authorities have opted not to charge the deputy in the shooting.
The Greenville News has the story:
A Greenville County deputy who shot a Simpsonville homeowner through his front-door window has been cleared of criminal wrongdoing.
The State Law Enforcement Division investigated the shooting and submitted findings to the state Attorney General’s Office, which recommended that no criminal charges be filed against Deputy Kevin Azzara.
“It is my legal opinion that the officer used lawful force under the circumstances. As such, we are not recommending initiation of criminal charges against the officer,” Jerrod Fussnecker, an assistant attorney general, wrote in a disposition letter to SLED that was obtained by The Greenville News.
Initially, the department’s public information officer Lt. Ryan Flood said this of the incident in a video interview to Fox Carolina:
…”The deputy was soon greeted by the homeowner who immediately jerked open the door, presented a handgun and pointed it directly at the deputy. At which time the deputy fired at least one shot, striking the occupant.”
The Sheriff’s office put forth that narrative for 45 days…until it released bodycam video of the incident. That laid bare the department’s utterly false narrative.
Here it is. NSFW (audio, graphic injury).
And now the local State’s Attorney has decided not to file charges against the officer.
The Greenville News reports that the officer didn’t even face internal discipline from his department.
Tench has recovered slowly, and one bullet will remain permanently lodged in his body, Ashmore has told The News. He spent the first 30 days of his recovery with both bullets in his body, he said.
Prior to the SLED investigation’s completion, Azzara was cleared of any policy violations through an internal-affairs investigation with the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office.
The homeowner will pursue his civil claim for damages in court. Meanwhile the rest of us should take away a valuable lesson.
As I wrote earlier:
I know a lot of gun owners and pretty much without exception, if you show up un-announced late at night, the person answering the door (not necessarily opening the door, but merely answering it) will have tooled up before doing so.
As such, we all risk being shot if seen through windows while holding a gun. So the moral of the story: Don’t allow visitors a clear line of sight into your home from the exterior.
While Dick Tench may never recover completely, if we can avoid injury ourselves by learning from his experience, that will have to qualify as a win.