Savannah-Chatham Officer Shoots and Kills Suspect - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

05/30/07

Savannah-Chatham Officer Shoots and Kills Suspect

A massive crime scene near the intersection of 37th Street and Waters Avenue. A massive crime scene near the intersection of 37th Street and Waters Avenue.

An investigation is underway after a police officer shot and killed a man on the streets. It happened Wednesday afternoon a little before 4pm near the intersection of East 37th Street and Waters Avenue.

Police pulled up to the sidewalk on 37th Street to arrest 41-year-old Anthony Smashum. Investigators say he fought them and took off running.

That's when the scene turned ugly.

"He's dead," said Smashum's sister, Mary Ann Mack. "He's dead. And where do we go from here? He's dead. There's nothing else we can say or do."

Police say that as Smashum tried to scramble over a fence, Officer Antonio Taharka shot him twice. Smashum died a short time later.

"I looked back there, and I seen a body laying by the purple car in the driveway," said Vondell Ashley, a family friend.

"He probably was dead before he got to the hospital, but we don't know that. We haven't seen him. I haven't seen him," cried Mack.

She says investigators wouldn't tell them what happened, or even let his mother see the body.

"I was expecting the officer to tell us exactly what happened. That's what I was looking for," said Mack. "And we did not get that."

So far, all they have heard are rumors, and those rumors are ugly.

Officer Taharka is an eight-year veteran on the force. He's been placed on administrative leave, which is standard procedure during any type of officer-related shooting investigation.

Reported by: Chris Cowperthwaite, ccowperthwaite@wtoc.com

Powered by Frankly