South Carolina police shoot and kill man wanted for sex crimes who was brandishing rifle, video shows

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Law enforcement officers shot and killed a man wanted for sex crimes involving minors earlier this year in South Carolina after he fired a rifle at deputies who were trying to serve a warrant, new video released by the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office shows. 

William Clayton Blackwell, 39, was being served warrants on Feb. 18 for second- and third-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor, incest and child neglect.

WARNING: THIS VIDEO CONTAINS GRAPHIC CONTENT THAT MAY BE DISTURBING TO SOME

The first deputy to arrive at Blackwell’s mobile home saw him come out of the front of the residence armed with a pistol, according to Greenville County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Ryan Flood.

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Video shows Blackwell running around the back of the home as more deputies arrived. 

Moments later, Blackwell runs for the treeline with a rifle, where he fires at deputies and assumes a prone position. 

“Drop the gun! Drop the gun! He’s got a rifle,” one deputy can be heard saying.

39-year-old William Clayton Blackwell was fatally shot in February when he allegedly fired a rifle at deputies who were serving a warrant to him for child sex crimes. 
(Greenville County Sheriff’s Office)

After a firefight, deputies waited roughly 12 minutes for a K-9 to come and ensure that Blackwell was no longer a threat. 

He was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced deceased. 

This rifle was recovered from the scene of the shooting. 
(Greenville County Sheriff’s Office)

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Greenville County Sheriff Hobart Lewis said the office of professional responsibility investigated the incident and found the deputies’ actions were appropriate. 

“All the deputies involved in the incident have been cleared as the internal investigation concluded,” Lewis said in the video briefing. “The deputies’ actions to return fire were justified under our policies.”

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