- Associated Press - Thursday, May 19, 2016

FOREST ACRES, S.C. (AP) - State police launched an investigation Thursday after a white police officer shot and wounded a black man before an early morning car chase in a Columbia suburb.

The officer wasn’t hurt, and officials didn’t have an update on the wounded man’s condition.

The shooting was reported to state police at around 1:30 a.m. Thom Berry, spokesman for the State Law Enforcement Division, said it happened after a Forest Acres police officer was called to investigate a noise complaint and found a man sitting in a car.

According to Berry, the driver tried to use the car to hit the officer, who fired as the vehicle sped away. The officer got back in his patrol car and chased the vehicle, which crashed into an ATM at a credit union a few miles away.

Berry said no shots were fired during the chase. SLED is investigating. They didn’t say if the driver would face charges.

The driver was taken to a hospital for treatment of a gunshot wound. Updating reporters on the case Thursday afternoon, Forest Acres Police Chief Gene Sealy had no word on the man’s condition and would not release his name.

There is dashboard camera video related to the case, although Berry said he didn’t know if it was of the shooting itself. Forest Acres officers do not have body cameras, he said.

Sealy said the officer involved has been placed on paid leave during the investigation, which happens after most officer-involved shootings. Sealy also declined to identify the officer, who he said had been with the department in this small residential community surrounded by the city of Columbia for several years.

According to state police, Thursday’s shooting was the 17th to involve an officer in South Carolina so far in 2016. Last year, Forest Acres Officer Greg Alia was shot and killed in September after responding to a report of a suspicious person at Richland Mall. The suspect in that case has been charged with murder and possession of a weapon during a violent crime.

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Kinnard can be reached at https://twitter.com/MegKinnardAP . Read more of her work at https://bigstory.ap.org/content/meg-kinnard/


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