Three deputies placed on leave after deadly Litchfield shooting

  • Friday, August 8, 2014

The Georgetown County Sheriff’s Office has confirmed three deputies remain on administrative leave as the investigation continues into the July 12 shooting in Litchfield that resulted in the death of 36-year-old Valerie Harrington.

Since the incident, which occurred at a residence at 49 Ashcraft Circle in Litchfield Oaks, it has been reported one officer was placed on administrative leave.

Responding to a request under the Freedom of Information Act submitted by South Stand News, the Sheriff’s Office revealed three deputies originally responded to the call. They are Deputy Dawud Aswad, Deputy Brandon Siratt and Deputy Joseph Wilson.

All three were placed on administrative leave, according to the response issued by Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Carrie Cuthbertson.

A press release issued by the Sheriff’s Office hours after the incident indicated only one officer was placed on leave.

“The officer involved in the shooting has been placed on administrative leave,” the July 12 press release states.

The Sheriff’s Office says Harrington – a former International Paper Co. employee – was threatening suicide with a knife. She reportedly charged at the deputies with the knife.

Coroner Kenny Johnson said Harrington died from “multiple gunshot wounds.”

The deputies were sent to the home after receiving a call from Harrington’s family asking for them to check on her welfare. Her attorney also called 911 saying Harrington had the knife while locked in a bathroom.

The incident report, filed by a supervisor, states after an apartment manager unlocked the door for the deputies and they were searching the apartment, Harrington “charged at a deputy with a knife in her hand.”

The South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) was called to investigate the shooting and the crime scene. SLED spokesman Thom Berry, when asked this week about the status of the investigation responded it is “still open and ongoing.”

Once the SLED investigation is complete, a report will be issued to 15th Circuit Solicitor Jimmy Richardson who will decide if the shooting was justified.

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