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Officer Down: Deputy Sheriff William Howell Jr.

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May 05, 2008

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Officer Down: Deputy Sheriff William Howell Jr.

Officer Down: Deputy Sheriff William Howell Jr. - [Orangeburg County, South Carolina]

Age: 46

Cause of Death: Gunfire

Deputy William Howell was shot and killed while responding to a domestic disturbance on Boyer Road at approximately 0130 hours.

As Deputy Howell approached the home to assist the female victim with removing clothing, the male subject opened fire with a rifle, striking Deputy Howell in the neck.

The suspect, who was who was out of jail on bond on a charge of assault and battery with intent to kill, was then run over and killed by his wife as he attempted to leave the home.

Deputy Howell had served with the Orangeburg County Sheriff's Office for three years and had served in law enforcement for a total of 16 years, having served as a jailer at the Berkeley County Detention Center from 1993 to 2000, with the Moncks Corner Police Department, the South Carolina Department of Corrections, the Dorchester County Sheriff's Office and as an officer with the Jamestown Police before taking a position with the Orangeburg County Sheriff's Office.

Deputy Howell is survived by his wife and three sons.


S.C. deputy fatally shot during domestic

By Lee Higgins
The State

ORANGEBURG COUNTY, S.C. — An Orangeburg County sheriff's deputy was fatally shot early Saturday as he was responding to a domestic dispute at a Holly Hillarea home, Sheriff Larry Williams said.

Then the alleged shooter's wife got into a car and crashed the vehicle into her husband after he reportedly tried to fire the shotgun in her direction, Williams said.

Her husband was found dead in a nearby ditch, Williams said.

Deputy Cpl. William Howell Jr. died instantly after being shot in the neck about 1:20 a.m., Williams said. The man who was run over was identified as 21-year-old Derrick Buras.

The State Law Enforcement Division is investigating both deaths, Williams said. The sheriff said Buras' wife had not been charged in the case. Her name had not been released.

Howell didn't have a chance to draw his weapon or radio for help, Williams said. He was shot as he approached the home.

A neighbor "heard the commotion and walked over and used the officer's radio to call for backup," Williams said.

Howell responded after Buras' wife called deputies for assistance to get her personal belongings out of the home, Williams said.

She and her husband had an ongoing dispute, including an argument Friday afternoon at the home where they stayed, Williams said. Buras was out on bail on an assault charge, Williams said.

Howell, 46, of Cross, leaves behind his wife, Michelle; sons, 19-yearold William of Miami, 18-year-old Alexander and 16-year-old Derek, both of Cross; and a stepson, 25-yearold Laures of Anchorage, Alaska.

He was a 16-year law enforcement veteran, working the last 3 1/2 years as an Orangeburg County sheriff's deputy.

Howell had a kind disposition and was committed to helping others, Williams said. "He was an individual that really cared," Williams said.

Deputies were at the home throughout the day Saturday, sharing stories that uplifted the family, said Howell's sister-in-law, Yvonne Davis.

"He touched everybody's heart he met," Davis said. "He was always trying to resolve things peacefully."

Howell was a former correctional officer, Davis said. She said some ex-inmates came back to thank him for "being so kind" when they were behind bars.

Howell was a keyboard player at Silas United Methodist Church in Eutawville, said the church's pastor, Mark Williams. He became a member of the church about a year and a half ago, dedicating four to five hours a week to church activities. He was an "upstanding guy," who had a genuine concern for others, the pastor said.

Howell's colleagues told the pastor Saturday about how Howell was a voice of calm during sometimes volatile situations on the street. Funeral arrangements have not been set.

"(He) was a genuine Christian," Williams said. "He was somebody that really believed and understood what the love of Christ was all about."

Copyright 2008 The State

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