November 12, 2013

Sheriff: Former USC football player Kenny Miles shot himself in the arm

Former running back was injured in mysterious Nov. 4 shooting near Irmo office park

The gunshot wound former USC running back Kenny Miles suffered was self-inflicted, Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott said at a Tuesday news conference.

Miles is under a doctor’s care and will be charged with filing a false report in the near future, Lott said.

The sheriff did not speculate why Miles might have shot himself.

After the press conference, Miles released the following statement through his attorney, Neal Lourie:

“Last week I made a big mistake by not being up front about how the shooting occurred. I was not involved in any criminal activity. However, I was scared and worried how my actions would be perceived. I only made matters worse by not telling the truth. I make no excuses for my behavior.

“I would like to apologize to Sheriff Leon Lott and the entire Richland County Sheriff’s Department; my employer, The Office of the Attorney General; my team mates and coaches; The University of South Carolina community; friends, family; fans; and anyone else I’ve disappointed.

“I appreciate the support and prayers of the Gamecock Nation. I want you to know that I do not take your support lightly or for granted. I only hope that you will forgive me and allow me to earn your trust back over time.”

The Nov. 4 shooting first was reported as an attempted robbery to steal Miles’s watch and football ring.

But Lott held a news conference the following day to debunk that report. Lott said then he did not know what had led to Miles being shot but he did not want the community to fear a robber was on the loose in the St. Andrews area.

Miles was found with a gunshot wound about 1 p.m. in the doorway at 121 Centrum Drive in an office park, according to an incident report.

At the time, he told sheriff’s deputies he did not know who shot him while he was driving his car. He told deputies he was shot by a white man in his late 30s or 40s with light gray hair who was wearing a blue, long-sleeve, button-down work shirt and khaki pants, a Richland County Sheriff’s Department incident report said.

The shooter fled into a wooded area, Miles told officers.

The incident report also said Miles “appeared to be very incoherent to his surroundings.”

Later, investigators found blood at two locations – the office park where police found Miles and a nearby church. A friend of Miles worked at the office park, the sheriff said.

Miles has worked for S.C. Attorney General Alan Wilson since August as a support clerk, assisting with community outreach and youth mentoring. He also interned in the attorney general’s office for four months in early 2012.

After the shooting, Miles was given a 30-day leave of absence.

Miles came to Columbia from Lawrenceville, Ga., to play football for the University of South Carolina.

Miles led USC in rushing in 2009 as a redshirt freshman with 117 carries for 626 yards. He played in all 13 games, starting seven.

He started six games as a senior in 2012 and was third on the team in rushing with 359 yards. He started the final four games of last season.

Miles finished his USC career with 1,342 yards rushing.

Miles approached USC head coach Steve Spurrier this fall about the possibility of being a graduate assistant with the team.

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