Sheriff: Veteran With PTSD Committed “Suicide by Cop”

Sheriff: Veteran With PTSD Committed “Suicide by Cop”



by ABC Columbia Staff

Little Mountain, S.C. (WOLO) — Richland County Coroner Gary Watts has identified than man involved in Monday’s officer involved shooting as James W. Jennings Jr.

According to Watts, autopsy results show Jennings died of multiple gunshot wounds to the upper body including one that was self inflicted.

Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott tells ABC Columbia, Monday evening deputies responded to a domestic dispute on Wash Lever Road to find Jennings barricaded inside his home.

Lott explains that after hours of negotiation the man shot himself twice before pointing the gun at officer, who returned fire.

“We tried to use non lethal means to subdue him, that didn’t work and when he actually threatened the officer and pointed the gun we didn’t have a choice at that point. You know, he was trying to get us to kill him.” says Lott.

The Sheriff says Jennings was a military veteran suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Doctor Kimberly Kruse, a licensed clinical psychologist at Palmetto Heath, says irregularities immediately following traumatic events are not uncommon, but prolonged problems are cause for concern.

“During and shortly after a trauma most people recover from symptoms shortly after they experience whatever the trauma might be others go on to have difficulty coping with the stress which can become problematic in their daily functioning.”
According to Kruse, signs and symptoms of PTSD present differently in each case.

“People may have something called flashbacks, they may become estranged from family, fearsome of going out of their homes. Children, adults geriatric individuals all are susceptible to PTSD,” explains Kruse.

Additionally she says multiple methods of treatment are available for the disorder, but diagnosis is key.

She recommends that any individual displaying symptoms, contact a medial health professional as soon as possible.


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