Charleston Cop Running for Mayor Involved in Wild-West-Style Shooting

Charleston Cop Running for Mayor Involved in Wild-West-Style Shooting

Published February 11, 2008

Posted Oct. 16, 2007 – What started out as a snack run to a South Carolina convenience store ended in blood shed as two men held a Wild-West-style shootout in the street.

Newly released surveillance video from the El Cheapo gas station in Charleston shows 39-year-old off-duty police officer Omar Brown, pictured above, who is running for Charleston's mayor, exchanging gunfire with 22-year-old Antonio Rivers, on the morning of Oct. 1.


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Investigators believe that Rivers got heated when Brown, who already had paid for his items, reached around Rivers to bag them – which led to the shooting.

In the video, Rivers appears to stare down Brown. Brown, tells WCBD-TV in Charleston that he had no clue there was a problem and got in his car.

But then the unexpected happened.

Rivers, shown in the video, rushes out of the store to get a gun from his car and then walks over to Brown's Benz with his gun hidden. But things didn't go down like Rivers expected.

Brown jumped out of his car with his gun blazing, igniting a volley of bullets between them.

Go to the next page to read what happened next.

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"There's a bunch of shots just been fired here," one man, who witnessed the shooting, shouted to a 911 dispatcher. "There was a Black guy running around and someone's shooting the hell out of him." 

Another 911 caller, passing the scene, described the gunshots as "pow, pow, pa pow," screaming, "Holy sh**.  I thought he was gonna shoot me."

A frantic 911 call follows from Brown.

"Listen, this is officer Brown. I've just been shot. I'm bleeding badly. I've got to get to the hospital."

Brown, who is in good condition, was hit in the upper left thigh, leaving what he described as a hole about the size of quarter.  Rivers, wearing a sling, was able to appear in court the next day.

He's charged with assault and battery with intent to kill, possession of a firearm during the commission of a violent crime, possession of a stolen motor vehicle, failure to stop for blue lights, possession of ecstasy, unlawful carrying of a pistol, possession with intent to distribute cocaine base and possession with intent to distribute cocaine base within a half-mile of a school.

Charleston County Solicitor Scarlett Wilson, at a news conference Monday, says the 12-year-veteran did what he had to do to protect himself.

"I have found Officer Brown acted reasonably and lawfully. A person is not required to wait ’til his assailant gets the drop on him."

And that's exactly what Rivers had planned to do.

"It is so ridiculous,” Wilson said. “I think most of us had in our minds a shoulder to shoulder bump that can be kind of aggressive. You can barely see any sort of contact."
Brown says the senseless violence on the streets, like he fell victim to, is what prompted him to run for the city's mayor.

"There definitely has to be a respect for the law and currently there are a lot of thugs roaming the streets and they have to respect that,” Brown said.

Does Brown’s actions make him more or less qualified to be the mayor of Charleston, S.C.? Click "Discuss Now," to the right, to post your comment.

Written by BET-Staff


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