Deputy Kevin Carper Down (S. Carolina)
Story by wyff4.com
SPARTANBURG, S.C.-- A Spartanburg County Deputy and the suspect he was chasing were killed Tuesday night in an exchange of gunfire following an attempted traffic stop.
Spartanburg Sheriff Chuck Wright announced that Deputy Kevin Carper, 39, was killed by a single gunshot to the chest. Carper was a 12-year veteran of the sheriff's office.
Wright said that Terry Lee Brooks shot at Carper, who returned fire. Carper died at the scene. Brooks was taken to Spartanburg Regional Medical Center, where he died. Brooks was shot three times, Wright said.
A .38 caliber pistol was recovered at the scene, Wright said.
Wright said that he did not know the exact circumstances of the traffic stop, but that Brooks, of Inman, had prior convictions for burglary, car theft and DUI.
"Deputy Carper died a hero," Wright said at a news conference held at about 1:30 a.m. "He died doing exactly what he loved to do. He made this office better. We're broken and we ask you to pray for his family and pray for this department."
Wright said that chaplains were called in to help deputies and other officers involved.
"I've prayed with them and we've prayed with one another," Wright said. "We've hugged one another and we've cried with one another. It's not going to go away. This is something that forever changed our lives."
The shooting happened just after 10 p.m. on Midway Park Drive, near Interstate 85 and Highway 129 in the Wellford area.
The sheriff's office said that when Carper tried to make the traffic stop, Brooks got out of his vehicle and began to run.
Agents from the State Law Enforcement Division are investigating. A woman who was in Brooks' car at the time of the shooting is being questioned, Wright said.
Wright said that Carper was the married father of two daughters.
Carper is the first Spartanburg County law officer killed in 45 years. Spartanburg Police Officer Thomas Fox Abrams died in January of 1962.
Abrams was 42 when he was shot and killed while after responding to a disturbance at a downtown club. He was attempting to arrest a man when the suspect produced a .22 caliber revolver and shot Abrams in the chest.