Tuesday, July 15, 2014
A Kingstree Police Department officer has been cleared in the death of 31 year-old Alton R. Reaves. After a review of the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) case report the solicitor’s office indicated no criminal intent could be proved; therefore, the case would not be prosecuted.
On January 31, officer Clemson Wright responded to a call of a man waving a gun behind a group of buildings known as “Mexico” located near Main Street and Railroad Avenue in Kingstree. Reaves fled on foot after the officer attempted to make contact with him.
According to the officer’s statements, he communicated several verbal commands for Reaves to stop. The commands were ignored and the officer deployed his Taser, which failed to make contact with Reaves.
The foot chase continued to a garage just beyond the site where Reaves was first located. Both would take cover at opposite ends of a van parked behind the garage.
According to Wright’s report, Reaves rose up from a crouching position and pointed a black firearm in his direction. Fearing for his life, the officer verbally commanded Reaves to drop his weapon. When Reaves failed to obey the command the officer fired several rounds in Reaves’ direction. Reaves would later die of gunshot wounds sustained during the incident.
The Kingstree Police Department turned over the investigation to SLED. According to witness statements provided in the SLED report, before the incident Reaves was at the scene brandishing a handgun, displaying it to some of the people around the area, and at some point threatened to kill one person. A handgun was located on the ground near Reaves. SLED processed the scene and entered into evidence the weapon, along with other items.