Pee Dee Crime

Florence police officer involved in 2018 Hospitality Blvd. shooting cleared; body cam video released

FLORENCE, SC (WBTW) - A Florence police officer involved in the 2018 Hospitality Boulevard shooting has been cleared. 

The Florence Police Department says in a press release they have received notification from the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division that the 12th Judicial Circuit Solicitor has completed a review of the officer-involved shooting.

The shooting happened on July 14, 2018 at the Hilton Garden Inn hotel, located at 2671 Hospitality Blvd., the release says. Officers were dispatched to the hotel around 12:22 p.m. on this date "regarding a subject who had brandished a gun."

Officer Thomas Herman was the first officer on scene and contacted the complainant, according to the release. "While Officer Herman was speaking with the complainant, Jethro Benjamin appeared on scene and presented a handgun."

Officer Herman "ordered" Benjamin to the ground, states the release. Benjamin then allegedly hid behind a vehicle and fired at Officer Herman. "Officer Herman returned fire as he moved to a position of cover."

"A brief volley of gunfire was exchanged and Mr. Benjamin was wounded. Officer Herman and two other responding officers secured the scene," the release also says. "Officers positioned Mr. Benjamin on his side to aid in his breathing until an ambulance arrived. Mr. Benjamin was transported to the hospital by EMS, but died a short time later. No officers were injured during this incident."

Florence Police Chief Allen Heidler requested that SLED investigate the incident, according to the release. The FPD also says they conducted an internal investigation into the incident. 

"As a result of both investigations, it has been determined that Officer Thomas Herman acted in accordance with state law, as well as departmental policy."

The Florence Police Department also released body cam video from the incident. 

*WARNING: Details in the video may be disturbing to some.*


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