Richland County, SC (WLTX) – Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott says the man who died in a confrontation with his deputies Monday night was a military veteran who suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder.
Lott spoke briefly about the case to reporters Tuesday morning, where he released that bit of biographical information about the man who died. Hours later, Coroner Gary Watts identified him as 69-year-old James Jennings Jr.
Deputies were called to a home on Wash Lever Road near the Little Mountain area around 5 p.m. for a domestic violence call. When officers arrived, they say the wife had made it out of the home, but Jennings was still inside making threats against himself and officers.
Officers say their negotiator talked with the man for several hours, but they couldn’t get him to drop his weapons. Finally, deputies used bean bags to Jennings, causing him to drop one of the two guns he was holding.
However, deputies say the man then shot himself , then turned the gun on officers. At that point, officers fired at the man.
Jennings was taken to the hospital where he later died. An autopsy revealed he died of a combination of the gunshots that were fired.
Lott says it appears the man wanted to die by suicide by cop.