Greenville, SC – Police released bodycam video on Tuesday of the officer-involved shooting of an armed man wanted on multiple warrants in July (video below).
The incident occurred at about 5 p.m. on July 11 after Greenville County sheriff’s deputies had been searching for 26-year-old Michael Joseph Culbertson, WYFF reported.
Greenville County Sheriff Hobart Lewis said deputies had been searching for Culbertson, who was wanted on several warrants stemming from incidents on June 27 and July 10, in the area of Long Forrest drive.
Deputies said Culbertson was wanted for resisting arrest, failure to stop for blue lights, interfering with police, and reckless driving, WHNS reported.
Greenville County Sheriff’s Captain Tim Brown said in the lengthy video released on Aug. 25 that deputies responded to Culbertson’s home the day before the shooting for a domestic disturbance.
Capt. Brown said family members told deputies that Culbertson had said that he wasn’t going to jail and that he had recently gotten a gun.
He evaded deputies at his home but they continued to look for him the next day, according to the Captain.
Bodycam video from the incident began with deputies riding in the back of an unmarked van looking for Culbertson when they spotted him on the street.
Capt. Brown said they saw the fugitive when he emerged from the nearby woods.
“There he is, there he is, there he is,” one of the deputies said in the video.
“Where where where?” another deputy asked.
“Go right right right,” the deputy replied.
Seconds later, the van stopped and seven deputies jumped out with their weapons drawn and pointed in the direction of Culbertson.
The suspect was running away from the deputies on the side of the road and carrying his cell phone in his left hand, the video showed.
Deputies ordered Culbertson to show his hands as they jumped out of the vehicle.
Capt. Brown said the suspect failed to comply with officers’ commands and instead reached for a weapon in his right pocket.
The video showed that when Culbertson started to turn and face them, the deputies opened fire on him.
Sheriff Lewis said the suspect pointed his gun at the deputies before they shot him, WYFF reported.
Culbertson was struck multiple times, according to the captain.
Bodycam video showed Culbertson dropped a magazine and a 9 mm semi-automatic pistol on the street as he fell.
Capt. Brown said deputies handcuffed the suspect and began CPR and First Aid on him.
Culbertson was transported to the hospital by ambulance and pronounced dead, according to the captain.
The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) was heading up the investigation in cooperation with the department’s internal investigation, WYFF reported.
Sheriff Lewis said the internal investigation had determined that the shooting was justified.
“There is several shell casings up there,” the sheriff said right after the incident. “Our deputies, we know fired multiple rounds; just from their own statement when everybody got together and they we were trying to figure out who was involved. We had about seven or eight deputies who were out here, and it looks like from the initial investigation they all really shot from the same place.”
The SLED investigation is ongoing, according to WHNS.
Watch the incident unfold in the video below. WARNING – Graphic Content and Obscene Language: