Officer shoots, kills patient at SC mental health clinic

January 27, 2014 

Authorities say a probation officer has shot and killed a patient at a Chesterfield mental health clinic.

Police say they were called to the Tri-County Mental Health Clinic at around 11:45 a.m. on Monday. The South Carolina Department of Mental Health says a probation officer brought the patient to the clinic. The agent was outside the office and heard the patient begin arguing and attacking the psychiatrist.

Investigators say the agent shot and killed the patient. No one else was injured. The name of the patient has not been released.

The State Law Enforcement Division is investigating, and authorities say the clinic should reopen Tuesday.

Here is a full release from the S.C. Department of Mental Health:

Tri-County Community Mental Health Center is operated by the South Carolina Department of Mental Health. The Center provides outpatient mental health treatment services to adults and children in Chesterfield, Marlboro and Dillon counties.

At around 11:30 A.M., Monday, January 27th, a patient was brought to the Chesterfield clinic of the Department’s Tri-County Community Mental Health Center, by a Probation, Parole and Pardon Services agent.

While the patient was being seen by a Center psychiatrist, the agent was seated outside of the office. Staff of the clinic heard the patient become loud and argumentative and the agent responded immediately. Staff of the clinic followed their training and went on “lockdown” – locking themselves and other patients of the clinic behind office doors and calling 911. Staff reported subsequently hearing several gunshots. Law enforcement responded promptly.

The physician reported that he was physically assaulted by the patient, but he was not seriously injured. No other staff or patients were injured.

The State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) is conducting an investigation into the incident, and clinic staff and patients who were present have been interviewed.

As of this time, the clinic is scheduled to re-open tomorrow. The Agency has dispatched additional staff to the clinic, including the Department’s Director of Emergency Services, to provide support and assistance to any clinic staff or clients who request it.

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