Trooper, victim involved in Horry County shooting ID’d

Grand Strand

HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) — The trooper who was involved in an officer-involved shooting Saturday in Horry County has been identified and has been released from the hospital, according to Sherri Iacobelli with the South Carolina Department of Public Safety.

The trooper involved in the shooting is Master Trooper W.B. Benton, who has been with the department since 2010, according to Iacobelli. Benton was released from the hospital and will undergo surgery for his injuries.

The shooting happened Saturday after Benton tried to make a traffic stop near Highway 905 and Highway 22 for an equipment violation. The driver sped away and crashed into a utility building on McNeil Chapel Road, according to the South Carolina Department of Public Safety.

The suspect attempted to flee the scene on foot and “a struggle ensued,” when the trooper attempted to place the suspect under arrest.

SLED and SCDPS confirm the trooper shot the suspect during this confrontation. The man later identified as Tristan Vereen, 33, died at Grand Strand Medical Center, according to Deputy Coroner Darris Fowler. He died as a result of a gunshot wound.

According to public records, Vereen has an extensive criminal background with multiple arrests for violent crimes in Horry County, including a 2019 arrest for allegedly biting a woman’s ear and being found naked on another woman’s bed. Jimmy Richardson, the 15th Circuit solicitor, confirmed Tuesday afternoon that the 2019 case will be dismissed because of his death.

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