Black South Carolina Man Was Armed When Officers Shot Him, Police Say

| by Reuters

A young black man was armed on Saturday when he was shot to death by South Carolina police after leading officers on a high-speed chase that ended when he crashed his SUV into a tree, authorities said on Monday.

State troopers were pursuing Shamir Palmer, 24, because they believed he had been involved in a shooting in Dorchester County near Charleston, according to the police report. Police reported that someone in the Chevrolet Tahoe had fired a shot at them.

The chase, which reached speeds of more than 100 mph, ended when Palmer lost control of his vehicle and "spun head on into a tree," the report said. With his SUV immobilized, Palmer got out of the car. Deputies shouted at him to surrender and then fired their weapons at him, authorities said.

Police recovered what they believe was the suspect's weapon at the scene, authorities said.

The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division said on Sunday it was investigating the shooting. It was the 31st officer-involved shooting in South Carolina this year. That compares with 42 officer-involved shootings in the state in all of 2014.

A series of fatal police confrontations across the United States involving African-Americans has sparked demonstrations and raised questions about police use of force against minorities.

(By Harriet McLeod; Editing by Frank McGurty and Peter Cooney)