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UPDATE: Suspect identified in Hardeeville shooting; Officers in stable condition

  • Crime scene at Sanders Road in Hardeeville after two officers were shot Thursday.
  • JCST/ Sheriff Chris Malphrus held a press conference with Hardeeville Police Department Chief Sam Woodward

Jose Trejo, 26, was identified as the suspect who was killed Thursday after he allegedly shot a Hardeeville Police Officer and a Jasper County Sheriff's deputy during a domestic dispute at 432 Sanders Road in Hardeeville, according to Jasper County Sheriff Chris Malphrus.

The injured officers, Justin Smith of the Jasper County Sheriff's Office, and Kelvin Grant of the Hardeeville PD are each in stable condition, Malphrus said. Smith was shot near the collarbone and the hand. Sgt. Grant was shot in his arm and was also hit in the side.

Smith was expected to have surgery on his left hand and Grant was set to have surgery on his arm Friday afternoon.

Hardeeville Police Chief Sam Woodward said during a Friday press conference at the Hardeeville Police Department that Grant is “in good spirits” and “recovering well.

The woman in the dispute was identified as Trejo's mother, Malphrus said. She was treated for non-life-threatening wounds and released from the hospital.

"As soon as (the officers) pulled up, they got word he had shot his mother, which we found out now, he didn't shoot her, but he tried or intended to shoot her," Malphrus said. "Sheriff's Department, Police Department entered the house to try and find him, when they got near the hallway, his mom was standing. The suspect came out of the bedroom shooting with no warning."

According to Malphrus, multiple officers fired at Trejo, but it's unclear who fired the fatal shot. It is believed a bystander called 911 after hearing gun shots.

The young child who lives at the house, but was with family members at the time of the shooting is Trejo's brother, Malphrus said.

Trejo had an extensive criminal history, according to Malphrus, including criminal domestic violence, trafficking crack cocaine, DUI, assault and battery charges, filing a false police report, and multiple gun charges.

The South Carolina S.C. Law Enforcement Division is leading the investigation. According to SLED, there is body cam video of the incident. There is dash cam video from the scene, but it does not show the confrontation, SLED said.
Information gathered by SLED will be summarized in a case file report to be submitted to prosecutors in the 14th Circuit Solicitor’s Office.
This incident was the 15th officer-involved shooting in South Carolina in 2017.
In 2016, there were 41 officer-involved shootings in South Carolina.

Earlier:

A Hardeeville Police Department officer and Jasper County Sheriff’s deputy were shot at 432 Sanders Road in Hardeeville after responding to a domestic dispute, according to Sheriff Chris Malphrus.

They were each airlifted to Savannah’s Memorial University Medical Center. Malphrus said the deputy and officer are both in critical but stable condition and were communicating with hospital staff. They were wearing bulletproof vests.

Malphrus said the deputy is Justin Smith, who has been with the JCSO for about two years.

Sgt. Kelvin Grant is the Hardeeville officer, Hardeeville Police Chief Sam Woodward said. He has served with the HPD since 2010.

Smith was shot near the collarbone and the hand, Malphrus said. Sgt. Grant was shot in his arm and was also hit in the side, according to Malphrus.

The suspect was shot and killed in the return fire from officers. The incident happened around 6 p.m. Thursday.

“The shooter fired a weapon at his significant other, his wife or girlfriend. One of our deputies arrived with three of the Hardeeville PD officers. The suspect opened fire on the officers. One officer got hit in the (right) shoulder. The Hardeeville guy was hit in the lower arm and one rebounded under his vest on his side. They returned fire killing the suspect,” said Sheriff Chris Malphrus said.

Malphrus said the woman was also taken to the hospital with burn wounds. It’s not clear if she was the suspect’s wife or girlfriend. It’s not believed that she was shot. (Editor's note: She was later identified as the suspect's mother).

Malphrus said she has a possible eye wound. The woman's child, an adolescent boy, was not at the house, but with family members during the shooting, according to Malphrus. (Editor's note: The child was later identified as the suspect's brother.)

“My thoughts and prayers are with my officer right now and the other two officers involved in the shooting,” Woodward said.

A neighbor who lives several houses away said he didn’t know anything was happening until he saw police cars racing to the scene.

“We didn’t know anything was going on,” said Harold Wilson, who has lived at his house for 27 years. “I came out the door, they were everywhere. This is crazy.”

S.C. Law Enforcement Division is leading the investigation. The identities of the suspect and woman have yet to be released.

This story is developing.

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