New documents detail actions of officers when suspect was shot in Horry County


MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – New details are emerging after an officer shot a suspect in Horry County.

News13 reported previously that the officers involved had been cleared of wrongdoing by the 15th Circuit Solicitor after an investigation by the South Carolina Law Enforcement division.

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

According to those documents, the shooting of Damien Givler, started as a traffic stop on February 8th. 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.”

Givler was taken to the hospital for treatment and on February 28 was charged with:

  • Driving under suspension 1st offense
  • Failure to stop for a blue light 1st offense
  • Pointing and presenting firearms at a person
  • Unlawful carrying of a pistol
  • Resisting arrest with a deadly weapon

According to the SLED investigation documents, Givler’s blood contained cannabis, opiates, and benzopiazepines.

According to the J. Reuben Long Detention Center website, Givler is still incarcerated.

According to the SLED documents, Special Agent Kyle Radford, was assigned to investigate the shooting. After the report was completed, the 15th Circuit Solicitor’s Office decided the shooting was justified and that none of the officers involved would face prosecution. Radford was assigned the case by SLED Captain Johnnie Abraham. Several other SLED agents helped with the investigation.

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