DASHCAM: Officers followed suspect for over 30 minutes before shooting in Socastee

Grand Strand Crime

SOCASTEE AREA, SC (WBTW) – Dashcam video and radio traffic from a February officer-involved shooting at a Socastee area apartment complex has been released.

The dashcam video shows Horry County police officers following a driver on Highway 707 and Palmetto Pointe Boulevard for over 30 minutes. The suspect pulled into the parking lot of The Pointe Apartments, off of Palmetto Pointe Blvd., where the officer-involved shooting happened.

Officers can be heard on radio traffic attempting to use stop sticks. Officers can also be heard saying “shots fired, shots fired” and “he had a gun.” Officers also asked for EMS to be notified and said the driver had two gunshot wounds, one to the back and one to the chest.

Damien Givler pleaded guilty on Tuesday to resisting arrest with a deadly weapon and pointing and presenting firearms at a person, according to court records. He was sentenced to two years in prison and four years probation.

Damien Givler (J. Reuben Long Detention Center)

News13 previously reported the incident began as a low-speed car chase on Highway 707 and around Palmetto Pointe Blvd., and it ended after officers used stop sticks to blow out the driver’s tires.

The suspect then turned onto Maypop Cir. off of Palmetto Pointe Blvd. and into The Pointe apartments.

Three officers were sent to the hopsital. One due to minor injuries and two others because they came in contact with the suspect’s blood while rendering first aid, according to the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, or SLED.

The suspect who was shot had to undergo surgery.

WBTW News13 previously obtained the investigative documents from the incident from SLED using the Freedom of Information Act.

According to those documents, the shooting of Damien Givler started as a traffic stop on February 8. According to the newly obtained records, officers with the Horry County Police Department tried to pull over a 1999 Grand Marquis, but the driver, later identified as Damien Givler, failed to stop and officers started to chase the suspect.

The chase started on Highway 17 in the Socastee area of Horry County. HCPD Officer Jesse Scott was the officer who tried to initially pull over Givler, according to records. Other HCPD officers, including David Taylor joined the chase and pursued Givler for about 20 minutes.

Stop sticks were deployed on Palmetto Pointe Boulevard and the car came to a stop at The Pointe apartment complex, according to SLED. Givler got out of the car and ran away. Officers Scott and Taylor started running after Givler. According to the SLED documents, Taylor saw a gun in Givler’s hand and yelled, “gun.”

Another officer, Corporal John Sotile, caught up to the chase and used a Taser on Givler. The new documents say Givler pointed a gun at Taylor and allegedly yelled at the officers to shoot him. Taylor told SLED investigators he did not open fire on Givler because he was, “calling his bluff.” That’s when Scott opened fire hitting Givler in the chin, chest, back and buttocks.

According to Sotile, Givler was “begging to be shot again.” That’s when Sotile took the gun from Givler’s hand.

Several witnesses told SLED investigators they could hear officers yelling “drop the gun” or “put the gun down” followed by several gun shots. One of the witnesses said they heard officers tell the suspect to, “roll over, and he responded that he could not because his legs did not work.”


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