Police Video Shows Fatal Shooting Of Marijuana Suspect Who Pulled A Gun On Officers

| by Karin Sun
Video footage of shooting incidentVideo footage of shooting incident

The Cayce Department of Public Safety in Cayce, South Carolina, has released a police dash cam video showing the sequence of events that led to the fatal shooting of a local resident in November 2015.

The video shows two police officers, Public Safety Officer Rhett Kelly and Sgt. Frank Ballentine, attempting to place a local man, Demetrius Shelley Bryant, under arrest for marijuana possession, according to WLTX.

The two officers first approached 21-year-old Bryant's car, which was parked in a residential area near State Street in Cayce, around 1:30 a.m. on Nov. 17. The man, who had been sleeping inside the vehicle, woke up and got out to talk to the officers.

Police questioned him about the smell of marijuana in his car for about nine minutes before asking him to empty out his pockets, according to WIS-TV. The man pulled out a small amount of marijuana and handed it to police. 

At this point, the officers attempted to place him under arrest. In the video, they are heard telling him that he was being taken into custody but that the charge against him would be minor. 

The situation escalated after Bryant appeared to "tense up" and pull away from officers. When they told him he was now also being charged with resisting arrest, he broke away from them, pulled out a gun from his waistband, and opened fire.

One of the bullets struck Officer Kelly in the leg.

Bryant then attempted to flee by running behind a nearby house with Officer Ballentine pursuing him.

He was then killed in an exchange of gunfire with the officer.

The fatal shooting took place off camera, but Ballentine can be heard on the video breathlessly saying that one of the bullets the man fired at him flew right by his head.

Bryant died of two gunshot wounds to his upper body, WLTX reported.

Investigations into the incident conducted by the Cayce Department of Public Safety and the State Law Enforcement Division found no wrongdoing on the part of the officers.

Kelly, who has worked in law enforcement for eight years, has returned to duty on a limited basis while recovering from his leg injury, while Ballentine, a 23-year police veteran, returned to full duty on Feb. 8.

"The video shows how a simple misdemeanor arrest was unnecessarily escalated into a life or death situation when the subject resisted and attempted to kill two of our Public Safety Officers," a statement released by the police department said, according to WIS-TV.

Records show that Bryant has been arrested at least three times on gun and drug charges prior to the incident. 

WARNING: Graphic video

Sources: WLTX, WIS-TV / Photo Credit: WLTX

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