Myrtle Beach Chief of Police Amy Prock addresses officer involved shooting
No criminal charges were filed in a deadly Myrtle Beach officer-involved shooting on Sept. 3 when police fired on a man who drove recklessly on Ocean Boulevard and pinned an officer between two vehicles.
Jimmy Richardson, the 15th Judicial Circuit Solicitor, sent a letter following a South Carolina Law Enforcement Division report about the case. In the letter, Richardson wrote that "there is no evidence of chargeable wrongdoing" by Myrtle Beach Police Officers Drew Fox and Justin Lieberth.
The Sun News obtained a copy of the letter and the report as the result of a Freedom of Information Act request.
SLED Special Agent Tina Carter filed the investigative report regarding the shooting of Jarvis Omar Hayes, 32.
Hayes' blood alcohol content was .237, nearly three times the legal driving limit of .08, according to the toxicology report.
"You have uncovered substantial evidence to show [Hayes] was acting intoxicated and driving in a manner that threatened the lives of members of the general public on Ocean Boulevard that night," Richardson wrote. "The life of the officer hit by the subject's car was threatened to the point his fellow officers who witnessed this believed they must fire their weapons in defense of this officer."
Statements, witness accounts, physical evidence and forensic details were part of the investigation.
Carter wrote in the report that Myrtle Beach police were alerted to the Sea Mist Resort at 1305 S. Ocean Boulevard for a driver of a white Jaguar that tried to run over a security guard and maintenance worker.
A witness also stopped officers and told them of the same car driving recklessly in the Ocean Boulevard area, the report states. Police identified Hayes as the driver. Video surveillance showed Hayes driving on a sidewalk and darting into oncoming traffic.
Fox and Field Training Officer Amanda Crago attempted to pull Hayes over at the Mystic Sea Motel, where the shooting occurred.
Officers and witnesses reported that police were outside their vehicle and told Hayes to stop his car, according to the report. Fox reported that police told Hayes to stop and Hayes said "he was going to stop, but it was OK because he was a cop," but continued to drive.
Hayes sped up and collided with Fox's patrol vehicle and two other cars, according to the report.
Lieberth told investigators that he ran from across the street to the stop and saw Fox with his gun drawn, the report states.
Cpl. David BeLue arrived as backup and was in Hayes' path when he hit Fox's cruiser, according to the investigation.
BeLue's right leg was trapped between two vehicles., but the injuries were later described as minor, according to the report. BeLue told investigators he heard the shooting as he tried to free himself. He retreated by scooting across the hood of a cruiser, and once he was across, the shooting stopped.
Fox and Lieberth both fired shots and hit Hayes, according to the report.
Lieberth said he saw BeLue on top of a cruiser in an effort to avoid being struck. Lieberth fired until he saw Hayes vehicle stop, according to the investigation. Fox told investigators that he feared Hayes would use his vehicle against him or police. Fox saw Hayes accelerate and appear to strike BeLue. Fox said he fired until he believed he was out of ammunition.
One witness reported that a police cruiser rammed the Jaguar and then officers got out and shot the driver, the report states. The driver tried to get out of the passenger side of the car. However, Carter noted that the statement was inconsistent with forensic and video evidence. Another witness stated that officers signaled to the vehicle to pull over and he continued to drive. Then, officers fired until Hayes was "no longer moving; bleeding and dead and kept shooting."
Officers provided Hayes medical attention until EMS arrived at the scene, according to the report. Hayes went to Grand Strand Memorial Hospital where he died from his injuries.
An autopsy determined Hayes died of multiple gunshot wounds and his cause of death was homicide, according to the report.