Deputy Shot on Duty With his Own Weapon
Officer Down: Andrews Mazur - [Greenville, South Carolina]
|Deputy shot, killed; manhunt under way|
Posted Sunday, August 17, 2003 - 11:40 pm
THE GREENVILLE NEWS---SOUTH CAROLINA
By Paul Alongi and John Boyanoski
A Greenville County sheriff's deputy was shot to death on Sunday after struggling with a suspect in Berea, authorities say.
Andrew Mazur, 24, died at 6:35 p.m., said Ken Coppins, assistant deputy coroner. That was about an hour and 20 minutes after he called in a report of a suspicious person.
After night fell, deputies were still searching for a shirtless white man who was last seen wearing blue jeans and one handcuff. He was described as about 6 feet tall, 200 pounds and believed to be armed.
An arrest warrant charges Christopher Mark Herring, 19, of 8 Link St. with murder.
The search focused on a neighborhood between State 253 and State 183. Deputies, some toting shotguns, swarmed the area as a helicopter buzzed overhead.
Joe Garrett, who lives near the scene, said he watched emergency medical technicians working on the deputy. Garrett said he thought of his son, an Anderson County deputy, when he saw the fallen officer on his back in uniform.
"I just thought, 'My God, it could have been my boy just as easily as it could have been theirs,'" he said.
Sheriff Steve Loftis said Mazur was on his normal patrol of the Berea area Sunday at 5:15 p.m. when he called in a suspicious person on Columbia Avenue. It was not known why he considered the suspect suspicious.
Mazur called for routine backup, which means he believed the person he was trying to arrest would resist, Loftis said. Mazur called less than a minute later for emergency backup, which means deputies should respond with blue lights and sirens activated.
Deputies arrived within two to three minutes, Loftis said.
Deputies are still trying to put the evidence together, but believe a fight ensued while Mazur tried to handcuff the suspect, Loftis said. He said the suspect got Mazur's service weapon and is believed to have fired one shot.
But Loftis was not certain whether the fatal shot came from the deputy's weapon or another firearm.
The service weapon was a .40-caliber Glock, Loftis said. The suspect was believed to be armed as the search continued, he said.
A person convicted of killing a law enforcement officer can face the death penalty.
As of late Sunday more than 50 deputies, aided by bloodhounds, helicopters and State Law Enforcement Division agents, searching for their suspect, Loftis said. SLED is called in whenever a law enforcement officer is killed in the line of duty.
Investigators have not recovered the service weapon, Loftis said.
Coppins said Mazur was pronounced dead at 6:35 p.m. at Greenville Memorial Hospital from a gunshot wound. An autopsy will be performed today.
Man accused in deputy's death shot himself in standoff, authorities say
Posted Monday, August 18, 2003 - 2:04 pm
By Andy Paras and Gwendolyn Young
A man accused of killing a Greenville County sheriff's deputy shot himself in the head during a standoff with officers this morning, authorities said.
An autopsy on the body of Mark Herring this morning shows that Herring shot himself in the head with Deputy Andrew Mazur's service weapon, said Greenville County Coroner Parks Evans.
Sheriff Steve Loftis said deputies initially thought that Herring was shot by a SWAT team member during a 7 a.m. shootout in a field of high brush at the Berea Industrial Park on Sulphur Springs Road.
Evans said the autopsy showed that the bullet that killed him was fired at close range from Mazur's service weapon, which was found in his possession. The SWAT team members who surrounded him all had long rifles, Evans said.
Herring suffered a second shot from a SWAT team member's rifle, but it was not fatal, Evans said.
Herring, 19, of 8 Link St. in Greenville was charged with murder Sunday in Mazur's death. Loftis said Mazur was trying to arrest Herring Sunday afternoon when Herring took his service weapon and fatally shot him in the head.
Herring eluded deputies throughout the night.
Herring went to a Sulphur Springs warehouse about 7 a.m. today and asked an employee for something to drink, Loftis said.
The employee recognized Herring and called 911, Loftis said.
Responding deputies saw him running into a field with high brush near a Duke Power substation, authorities said.
Loftis said the man fired at deputies twice. The deputies had no alternative but to return fire, Loftis said.
A deputy's patrol dog was hit in the crossfire, Loftis said. The German shepard sustained a grazing wound but didn't require medical attention, Loftis said.
The State Law Enforcement Division is investigating this morning's shooting.
Loftis said there also will be an internal investigation by the Sheriff's Office. Both such investigations are routine after an officer shoots someone.