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South Carolina sees 7th officer involved shooting in as many weeks

File- Police barrier on the scene of a shooting.
Brian Sevald
File- Police barrier at shooting scene.

Blue lights and crime scene tape surrounded several blocks of a Charleston area suburb Sunday night as SLED was called out to investigate its seventh officer involved shooting in as many weeks.

Authorities say Charleston city patrol officer Taylor Schwartz shot the suspect, Christopher Hampton, during a foot chase in West Ashley just before 7 p.m. They say Hampton was hit in the shoulder after stopping to pick up a black revolver he'd dropped.

Officer Schwartz, meantime, suffered an injury to his hand. This is the second officer involved shooting in Charleston County since December.

Two days after Christmas, several officers from the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office and North Charleston Police were placed on administrative leave following the death of a suspect who had been shot multiple times.

An incident report says officers arrived at a gas station in North Charleston to find 33-year-old Winston Dunham armed with a handgun. They reportedly tried to de-escalate the situation, but Dunham is said to have opened fire. None of the officers was injured.

Since Dec. 11, there have been seven officer involved shootings statewide: two in Charleston County; two in Spartanburg County; two in Greenville County; and one in Newberry County. While none of the officers suffered serious injuries in those shootings, five suspects did lose their lives.

Last year across the state, there were 43 incidents in which officers fired their guns. That number is up from 2022 when 32 officer involved shooting were reported.

Victoria Hansen is our Lowcountry connection covering the Charleston community, a city she knows well. She grew up in newspaper newsrooms and has worked as a broadcast journalist for more than 20 years. Her first reporting job brought her to Charleston where she covered local and national stories like the Susan Smith murder trial and the arrival of the Citadel’s first female cadet.