Officer-involved shooting during traffic stop at Tanger-2 Outlets in Bluffton

Officer-involved shooting during traffic stop at Tanger-2 Outlets in Bluffton

BLUFFTON, SC (WTOC) - A male subject was shot and a Beaufort County Sheriff's Office deputy was injured during a traffic stop at the Tanger-2 Outlets in Bluffton on Friday.

The deputy pulled over a vehicle at 5:45 p.m. The driver of the car attempted to flee.

According to law enforcement officials, one male subject - the driver - was shot possibly three times by the deputy and removed from the scene by EMS and flown to a Savannah hospital.

The deputy also sustained injuries and was taken to a hospital. According to BCSO Capt. Bob Bromage, the deputy sustained injuries after being dragged by the car.

"Put it in reverse, pulled the deputy with him. The deputy fired a few shots at the subject, wounding him, and the suspect fled the parking lot in his vehicle and ended up against a tree," said Capt. Bromage.

The officer was released from the hospital Friday evening, according to the BCSO.

The large crime scene took up much of the parking lot and spanned several hundred yards from the spot of the initial stop to where that suspect finally quit driving.

The sheriff's office waited an hour and a half to release any info despite the concern over public safety.

"We like to release good information. We were making sure the scene was secure, that there were no other suspects and That take some time," said Capt. Bromage.

All of this took place in a family friendly area at peak shopping hours ahead of Christmas. It takes away from the perceived safety of the outlets.

"It's supposed to be. Very much so supposed to be. It was surprising. We didn't expect to see it," said shopper and mother, Melissa Gardner.

The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division is investigating.

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