April 23, 2002
Three York County Deputies Shoot, Kill Suspect
By AMY LEHTONEN / NBC6.com
Three deputies are on administrative leave pending an investigation.
YORK, S.C. -- Three York County sheriff's deputies are on administrative leave after they shot and killed a man who they say threatened authorities Sunday night.
Authorities were called out to a report of a house fire on Flintlock Drive.
“I looked out my window and I saw flames,” said Jamie Denhoff, neighbor. “Probably level with the trees.”
When fire crews and sheriff’s deputies arrived on scene, they found a burning house and a man waving a knife and a gun in the front yard.
Authorities say the suspect, Gregory Allen Seymour, was threatening deputies and firefighters and the York County S.W.A.T. team was called in.
Denhoff lives behind Seymour’s home and she said she heard the deputies telling the suspect to put his hands up.
The three deputies say they feared for their life and the lives of others and they had no choice but to shoot the suspect.
All three fired their weapons. One deputy used a shotgun at close range, according to authorities.
Authorities originally thought the Seymour’s wife and three children were in the home but they later learned they were not.
The suspect's home burned to the ground.
Seymour was taken to the hospital, but was pronounced dead on arrival.
As standard procedure, the three deputies who shot the suspect are on administrative leave, pending an internal and state investigation.
York County Sheriff Bruce Bryant says the Seymour set his own house on fire. It burned to the ground and the chimney is the only thing left standing.
Chief Domenic Manera of the York City Fire Department says Seymour’s vehicle was parked diagonally in the driveway so firefighters could not get to the home.
Bryant says he does not believe this is a case of excessive force by the deputies. He believes it was a case of suicide by cop.
“Everything that we see in this particular case indicates that was his intention,” Bryant said.
They later found a note inside the suspect’s mailbox.
“I’m not going to go into what was said in that note but it leads us to believe that he intended to die,” Bryant said.
Bryant says the suspect did not fire his weapon. Authorities originally thought the suspect had a revolver in his hand, but they later determined it was a pellet gun.
Earlier this weekend, police had been called out to that same house for a report of a domestic disturbance.
6NEWS reporters Janelle Martinez and Steve Rutherford contributed to this report.