GEORGETOWN CO, SC (WBT) – Three Georgetown County Sheriff’s Office deputies have been cleared of any criminal wrongdoing in the shooting death of an Andrews man.
An investigation by the State Law Enforcement Division into the shooting death of Kreed Bateman on Dec. 10 found no evidence of criminal behavior on the part of Georgetown County Deputies Drew Wynans, William McWethy or Jerome Maybank, according to Alicia A. Richardson, hte deputy solicitor.
Georgetown County Sheriff Carter Weaver said, “I am sorry that my deputies and the family of Kreed Bateman will forever be affected by Bateman’s actions on that night. I am proud of the bravery exhibited by the deputies involved and their will to survive this deadly attack.”
Richardson said she reviewed the investigative report and the autopsy and toxicology reports from the medical examiner before making her decision.
“It is clear from your work that the subject armed himself with a handgun and fired at the responding officers while he was resisting a lawful arrest,” Richardson wrote to investigating Special Agents Clemson Wright and Jared Barkdoll of the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division.
She said deputies had probable cause to arrest Mr. Bateman for Domestic Violence, 2nd Degree, for assaulting the mother of his children in their presence. Initially, Mr. Bateman was wearing a white tank top, but when officers returned after talking with the victim, he had on a black t-shirt concealing a ballistic vest.
Richardson said evidence verifies the subject fired a handgun at the deputies first. An assault rifle and ammunition box were within his reach.
After the deputies responded with gunfire to protect their lives, they radioed for emergency medical services. The subject was wounded in the initial exchange of gunfire but was able to move, stand and communicate.
Deputies repeatedly ordered Mr. Bateman to show his hands and allow medical treatment. He refused and made a sudden movement to retrieve his weapon. “The deputies responded to this lethal threat with gunfire,” Richardson said. “Substantial evidence exists to show this subject was intent on using deadly force upon the officers to resist arrest and that the subject was willing to die to avoid arrest.”