SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) — A 55-year-old man died Wednesday afternoon following a brief exchange of gunfire with police in a Spartanburg neighborhood.
According to reports, Terrance Gault began shooting at Spartanburg police officers and Spartanburg County deputies when they went to a home on Belmar Drive near Hatcher Gardens to serve civil papers.
According to police, Gault came outside and fired a handgun, but then immediately ran back into the home, refusing to come out while continuing to shoot at officers. Officers retreated behind their police vehicles and returned fire.
After a brief pause, officers heard one additional shot, which came from the inside of the home. There was no additional communication between Gault and the officers.
Officers were able to see inside the home and saw Gault on the floor suffering from a gunshot wound. They went inside and provided medical care until Spartanburg EMS arrived.
The incident began at about noon, Gault was pronounced dead at 1:14 p.m.
Gault’s neighbors said they were in shock after Wednesday’s events.
“I just got a phone call from one of my neighbors, and I panicked,” Terry English said. “It’s just tragic, we’ve got cars and tape and everything around my house.”
Neighbors were evacuated during the investigation.
“We’ve had some events here and there, but nothing like this, so it makes me feel anxious,” Jennifer Borders said. “I heard probably 6 or 7 shots go off and I ran inside and grabbed my daughter and just went to the back of the house. We had been hiding there until they evacuated us out of our house.”
English called Gault a “good person.” He said he and Gault were close but that Gault had seemed “off” recently.
“We used to sit on the porch a little bit,” English said. “I don’t get to see him like I used to. I just used to say ‘Hey, how you doing,’ or whatever. For the last three or four months, it was just a little different.”
He said Gault was known by everyone in their neighborhood.
“I just want the street to be clear and to go back to a safe environment,” English said. “I pray for everyone who lost their lives, who didn’t lose their lives, the officers doing their jobs, I pray for Terrance.”
The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division is investigating the shooting, a standard procedure when officers’ weapons are fired.
The involved officers have been placed on administrative leave with pay during the internal review. No officers were hurt.