Crime & Courts

Man told 911 he was poisoned — then shot at deputies who came to help, SC cops say

A South Carolina man was fatally shot by law enforcement Sunday morning.
A South Carolina man was fatally shot by law enforcement Sunday morning. Getty Images/iStockphoto

A man is dead and a woman is in the hospital with a gunshot wound following an officer-involved shooting in South Carolina early Sunday morning.

A Greenville man called 911 claiming to have been poisoned, and less than an hour later he was fatally shot by sheriff’s deputies after opening fire on the people who were coming to his aid, according to Greenville County officials.

The Greenville County Sheriff’s Office said deputies responded around 1:30 a.m. to the 911 call made by the man, later identified as Willie Jermaine Robinson by the coroner’s office.

Deputies responded to the trailer park where Robinson lived and reported going to the door where they identified themselves, according to a news release from the sheriff’s office.

Robinson did not immediately open the door, but yelled and said he had a gun, the sheriff’s office said in the news release.

A shot was fired inside of Robinson’s residence before he “came outside and began discharging rounds ... then pointed the gun at deputies,” per the news release.

At this point “at least one deputy returned fire,” fatally shooting Robinson, who was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the news release.

Robinson shot a woman inside of the residence, deputies reported after searching the property, the sheriff’s office said. The woman, who was not identified in the news release, was taken to an area hospital with “non-life threatening injuries.”

No deputies were injured in the shooting, according to the news release.

Robinson, 34, suffered a fatal gunshot wound and his death has been ruled a homicide by Greenville County Coroner B. Parks Evans, Jr. He was shot at 2 a.m., according to a news release from the coroner’s office.

There is no word if Robinson had been poisoned, or was under the influence of a foreign substance, but an autopsy is scheduled for Monday, the coroner’s office reported.

The shooting is being investigated by the S.C. Law Enforcement Division, or SLED.

Robinson’s death “was the seventh officer involved shooting in South Carolina and the second involving a deputy of the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office” this year, according to a news release from SLED. Only one of the “43 officer involved shootings in South Carolina” in 2018 involved the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office, SLED reported.

Noah Feit is a Real Time reporter with The State and McClatchy Carolinas Regional Team. The award-winning journalist has worked for multiple newspapers since starting his career in 1999.