The police officer who was shot in the face early Sunday morning while doing his job is “making significant progress” in his recovery, the South Carolina Department of Public Safety said.
The SCDPS spokeswoman Heather Biance told The State that Lance Cpl. B.A. Frazier was in a safe condition on Tuesday and was talking with his family and other people who came to see him in the hospital.
No one knew how long Frazier would stay in the hospital, but the man who shot the South Carolina Highway Patrol trooper has been cleared by doctors and moved from the hospital to the Bamberg County Detention Center, said Renée Wunderlich, a spokesperson for the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division.
Wunderlich said that 37-year-old Derrick Gathers was taken to the Medical University of South Carolina after he crashed his car while trying to get away from police.
Wunderlich says that Gathers was charged with two counts of trying to kill someone, having a gun while committing a dangerous crime, and not stopping at a blue light.
Biance said the killing took place around 3:30 a.m. Sunday in Bamberg County.
Officials say that Frazier stopped traffic on U.S. 78 and pulled Gathers over because he was going more than 20 miles per hour over the speed limit.
Wunderlich said that a Bamberg County Sheriff’s Office officer was in the area and stopped to help Frazier.
Frazier Shot Back
Wunderlich says that Gathers shot Frazier with a gun, and Frazier shot back and hit the car as Gathers drove away. Biance said that Frazier was shot in the right side of his face, but that his wounds were not life-threatening.
Wunderlich says that a second Highway Patrol trooper, a second sheriff’s deputy, and a Bamberg Police Department officer found the car Gathers was driving and followed it through Bamberg County and into the Branchville area of Orangeburg County.
Biance said that was where Gathers crashed his car into a house.
There were no other accidents.
No one knows why Gathers shot Frazier, but SLED is in charge of finding out what happened.
Biance says that Frazier has been with Troop 7 of the Highway Patrol since 2018. He is currently working in Post A, which covers the counties of Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell, and Hampton.
SLED says that this was the second time this year that a South Carolina Highway Patrol officer was shot. This was the ninth time this year that a law enforcement officer was shot in South Carolina. It’s the first time the Bamberg County Sheriff’s Office has had to deal with something like this in 2023.
Last year, SLED said it looked into 32 police killings, but none of them happened in Bamberg County.
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