Investigators work at a scene of a shooting in Hollywood, S.C., May 7, 2015. A sheriff's deputy responding to a home invasion shot the homeowner in the neck Thursday because he refused to drop his gun, authorities said. 
Photo by Bruce Smith/AP

Police took 2 seconds to shoot homeowner mistaken for suspect


The South Carolina police officer who shot and critically injured a black South Carolina homeowner who had called 911 during an attempted home invasion, took less than 2 seconds before pulling the trigger.

Charleston County Sherriff’s deputy Keith Tyner is heard yelling “show me your hands,” and before he could finish the command he’d fired off two shots, striking 26-year-old Bryant Heyward, according to dashcam video released on Monday by the State Law Enforcement Division and published in the Post and Courier.

The shooting took place last Thursday morning in Hollywood, South Carolina, shortly after Heyward had called 911 to plead for help as two armed men were trying to break into his home. The suspects reportedly fired two shots into Heyward’s home, so Heyward rushed to grab his brother’s .40-caliber handgun from a bedroom. He fired two shots back, Heyward told investigators.

Related: South Carolina man shot by the police he called for help

By the time two Charleston County sheriff’s deputies arrived at Heyward’s home, the two suspects had fled and Heyward went to greet the officers at his back door — reportedly holding his brother’s handgun.

In seconds, Heyward was shot in the neck. In the police incident report written after the shooting, Deputy Richard Powell, the second officer on the scene, wrote that he and Tyner immediately saw bullet holes in the front windows of the house. He said the two of them walked around to the back of the house and noticed that the back door was also damaged, according to the report.

“As we were approaching, the back door swung open,” Powell wrote. “But (I) could not see in due to my angle.”

Powell said Tyner then shouted commands and that Tyner had spotted a gun in Heyward’s hand. Then he heard gunfire. Powell, Tyner said, shot Heyward to “suppress the threat.”

There is no mention in the report that Heyward raised the gun at the officers.

Charleston County Sheriff Al Cannon on Friday apologized for the shooting and said deputy Tyner made a “split-second decision” to fire at Heyward after he thought the man posed a threat. Heyward’s family has said that Heyward is currently paralyzed from the waist down and they’re not sure if he’ll ever walk again.

After Heyward was shot, he is heard saying, “Wrong guy, sir… this is my house.” The video does not capture the shooting as the dashcam is obscured by a tall wooden fence.

The shooting occurred in a rural community little more than 30 minutes drive from North Charleston, where a white officer last month fatally shot a black man in the back after the man tried to flee a traffic stop.

Both officers involved in the shooting have been suspended with pay.