BEAUFORT COUNTY, S.C. (WSAV) – A local South Carolina Highway Patrol trooper is out of a job after officials say he improperly fired his weapon during a traffic incident.
According to the South Carolina Department of Public Safety (SCDPS), Trooper J.W. Ward, Troop Six, Post C, on Nov. 8 was terminated from his position.
SCDPS says the incident happened around on Oct. 1 when a driver disregarded a traffic signal on U.S. 21 and fled Ward as he attempted to pull the vehicle over.
At one point during the pursuit, SCDPS says the driver lost control of the vehicle and came to a stop. That’s when Ward approached and “discharged his department-issued firearm.”
The driver again fled and led Ward into Colleton County where another trooper joined the pursuit. One of the troopers was able to stop the vehicle with a PIT (pursuit intervention technique) maneuver and the suspect was detained without further incident.
Ward was suspended without pay following the traffic incident and was ultimately let go from the job he’d held since 2017.
News 3 received the following statement, in part, from SCDPS regarding his firing:
An ongoing internal investigation by the Office of Professional Responsibility determined that the suspect in the case did not pose an immediate threat to Ward’s safety or the safety of others and Ward’s actions were not in line with his training or the department’s ‘Emergency Response/Vehicle and Foot Pursuit policy.