A Greenville County Sheriff's deputy who fatally shot an armed and suicidal man earlier this month has been cleared to return to work, Sheriff Steve Loftis announced Wednesday.
After reviewing an internal investigation into the incident, Loftis determined that Deputy William Davis followed all department policies and procedures. Davis was cleared and returned to active duty as of Friday, Aug. 24, Loftis said.
The shooting took place on Aug. 13 at approximately 7:30 a.m. at 22 Lermann Drive. Deputies responded to the residence in reference to a family disturbance and the subject — Patrick O'Neal Starks — threatening suicide and armed with a rifle.
After rescuing a female from the home, deputies went back inside the residence to make contact with Starks. When deputies encountered him, he turned towards deputies with the rifle in his hands at which time he was shot. Starks reportedly dropped his gun, but then picked it up again after being ordered not to, at which time Davis shot Starks again. Sparks later died at Greenville Memorial Hospital.
The following is a more detailed "fact sheet" on the incident that was given to the media:
Deputy Involved Shooting
August 13, 2012 at approximately 7:24am
Location: 22 Lermann Drive Greenville, SC 29605
-Deputy Involved in shooting: Deputy William Davis Uniform Patrol Division Hire Date: 08/09/2010
- Number of rounds fired: 2 Total Rounds
- Number of rounds that struck suspect: 2 Total Rounds
-Suspect/ Deceased Name: Patrick Oneal Starks
- Sheriff’s Office review completed and Deputy William Davis permitted to return to work on Friday August 24, 2012.
Summary of incident:
On Monday August 13, 2012 at 6:59 am the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call to 22 Lermann Drive regarding a family member, later identified as Starks, making suicidal threats by overdose.
Family members were at the residence attempting to talk with Starks and he armed himself with a baseball bat and began making threats to his own family. 911 call takers received information from the caller that Starks did attempt to assault his nephew with the baseball bat, and he had now armed himself with a gun and was outside the residence pointing the gun at family. Once deputies arrived on scene, Starks told the deputies he had a loaded rifle in his possession.
Additional information from the 911 caller advised that a female was inside the home and was incapable of leaving on her own. The first deputy arrived on scene at 7:14 am. Starks had now gone back inside the residence and was in his room. Additional deputies arrived on scene to assist with the call. Deputies entered the unlocked front door of the residence, located and rescued the female while another deputy stayed outside and talked with Starks through an open window in an attempt to calm him. Once the female was out of harms way, deputies went back inside the residence to locate Starks. Starks was told that deputies were coming into his room to talk with him. At 7:24 am Deputy William Davis encountered Starks in the bedroom and he had the rifle in his hands and turned toward Deputy Davis and fellow deputies. Starks had been ordered not to move both prior to and after entry was made into the bedroom. Starks did not comply with verbal commands. Deputy Davis felt that he and his fellow deputies’ lives were in jeopardy and he fired his service weapon once striking Starks. Starks dropped the rifle after being hit by the first round. Deputy Davis ordered Starks not to move, he again ignored the verbal commands by deputy Davis and picked up the rifle again at which point Deputy Davis fired a second shot fatally wounding Starks.
Sheriff Loftis reviewed the file and determined that Deputy Davis followed all Sheriff’s Office policies and procedures. Deputy Davis was returned to full duty on Friday August 24, 2012.