S.C. deputy coroner tried to kill 2 people
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A deputy coroner on personal leave drove up to a woman he knew and began shooting at her and a litter control officer she was talking to before he killed himself, a South Carolina sheriff said.
The litter officer was wounded but is expected to recover. The woman was not hurt, and fled to a home where she was able to lock herself inside, Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott said.
The shooting Tuesday in Hopkins, a suburb about 15 miles southeast of Columbia, stunned law enforcement in the area. Leonard Bradley, 62, had been an officer all of his life, starting with Columbia police in 1975 and working for the Richland County coroner's office since 2006, authorities said.
"Our careers kind of followed each other. I never had an idea something like this would happen," Lott said at a news conference.
Lott said it would be impossible to know exactly why Bradley started shooting because he killed himself before anyone could ask. Authorities have not said why Bradley was on personal leave.
Litter control officer Levi Brown was talking to the woman about 12:30 p.m. when Bradley drove up and started shooting, Lott said.
Brown was hit in the arm and finger. His bulletproof vest stopped one shot to his chest, Lott said. Brown couldn't fire back because one of the shots hit his gun and broke it during the ambush.