West Columbia police got a call Monday night about a man threatening someone with a handgun.
Officers responded to the Kangaroo Express gas station in the 1100 block of Sunset Boulevard around 11:17 p.m.
Police Chief Dennis Tyndall says the suspect had left, but officers located him a block away along Leaphart Street.
“They were giving him several verbal orders and he was continuing to walk toward the officers, conversing back and forth and not complying with the officers' orders as he was coming forward,” Tyndall says.
“And as he got really close to them, at some point he reached under his shirt and pulled out a pistol from his waistband.”
Tyndall says one officer fatally shot the suspect in the abdomen.
As is procedure in officer-involved shootings, the State Law Enforcement Division is investigating, but Tyndall feels the officer acted properly.
“From my personal review of the case, the officer will be exonerated, I'm sure, by SLED. Of course, that is their decision to make. But from what I've seen, it was a justifiable shoot.”
The suspect has been identified as 48-year-old Eliakim Shabazz of Cayce.
Tyndall says Shabazz had a long history of weapon, drug, assault and resisting arrest charges.
We're told the officer had been on the job only two weeks, but had previously served six years with the Richland County Sheriff's Department.
(Photo courtesy of Lexington County Detention Center)