A South Carolina Law Enforcement Division agent has been named as being involved in a officer-involved shooting last week in the Surfside Beach area, according to Thom Berry, SLED spokesman.
Senior Special Agent Robert C. Von Loewenfedt with SLED has been placed on administrative duties as the case remains under investigation by Myrtle Beach police, which is standard protocol when an officer-involved shooting happens, Berry said.
SLED usually investigates officer-involved shootings, but since they were involved in the incident, Myrtle Beach police have been asked to investigate.
Von Loewenfedt has not been named specifically as the shooter, but has been named as being “involved” in the shooting, according to Berry. Whether Von Loewenfedt fired or whether another officer fired in the deadly shooting is still under investigation, Berry said. Von Loewenfedt has been with SLED since April 2013.
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Aaron Payne, 33, of the Surfside Beach area, died about 5 a.m. Aug. 4 at Grand Strand Regional Medical Center after his involvement in the officer-involved shooting, according Tamara Willard, Horry County Chief Deputy Coroner.
Payne was apparently employed by United States Security Associates for two days during the Fourth of July weekend as an unarmed guard, according to an email sent by Horry County Schools Superintendent Rick Maxey to school board members and released to The Sun News under the Freedom of Information Act.
The private security firm provides armed security guards for Horry County Schools during the upcoming school year, but Maxey told board members in the email that the person was never considered for an armed guard position within the district.
Horry County police responded to a call around midnight Aug. 4 for a “suicidal subject” at 1451 Turkey Ridge Rd. in the Deerfield subdivision near Surfside Beach. Agents with the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division also responded.
Prior to arrival, police were told the suspect was acting “erratically” and witnessed the same behavior when they were on scene. Officers said Payne fired his weapon in the air, according to a news release from Capt. Joey Crosby with Myrtle Beach police.
Horry County SWAT and negotiators were called to the scene, but the man’s aggressive behavior continued, police said.
“During the incident, the male approached officers on the perimeter and pointed his weapon at officers,” according to the release. “An officer fired his weapon at the male subject striking the male. SWAT medics and EMS provided immediate medical attention, and the male was transported to the hospital where he was later pronounced deceased.”