RICHLAND COUNTY, SC
A man who died after an hours-long standoff with Richland County deputies Monday was a military veteran suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, the sheriff said Tuesday.
Sheriff Leon Lott said deputies knew the man who shot himself and then was shot by a deputy at a home in the 2100 block of Wash Lever Road in Little Mountain.
“It’s just a sad situation,” Lott said, adding that he wished things could have ended differently.
Richland County Coroner Gary Watts identified the man Tuesday as James W. Jennings Jr. and said he died from multiple gunshot wounds to the upper body – one of which was self-inflicted.
“There were multiple rounds, and any one of them could have been fatal,” Watts said.
Deputies responded to the home after Jennings pointed a weapon at his wife and threatened to kill her, Watts said.
The man’s wife was the one who called law enforcement, Lott said. Deputies were able to get her out of the house before the shooting. There were numerous guns in the home at the time of the incident, Lott said.
Officers responded to the domestic dispute at about 5 p.m. and found the suspect barricaded in his home, heavily armed, and heavily medicated, sheriff’s spokesman Lt. Curtis Wilson said.
Deputies tried to negotiate with Jennings for four hours, Wilson said – and during that time, the man was pointing a gun at the deputies, telling them to shoot him. As tensions grew, the deputies chose to shoot the suspect with a bean bag to neutralize the situation, Wilson said.
“We don’t know what he was on – he wasn’t listening to us at all,” Wilson said. “He kept telling us to shoot him.”
The bean bag did not deter the man, Wilson said.
After Jennings was shot with the bean bag, he shot himself twice and then pointed the gun at a deputy, Wilson said. The deputy shot the man again, this time with his service weapon.
“It took a long time for it to escalate to this,” Wilson said. “They exercised a lot of patience with a man who threatened to shoot them.”
The shooting happened around 9:15 p.m., according to the coroner. Watts said Jennings was taken to Palmetto Health Richland and died around 9:45 p.m.