Salem, SC – The Oconee County sheriff said there won’t be any criminal charges filed against the 74-year-old good Samaritan who fatally shot a jet skier he had just rescued out of Lake Keowee.
The Oconee County Coroner’s Office said the incident occurred shortly after 2 p.m. on March 15 near Fall Creek Landing Number 2, WSPA reported.
Police said 29-year-old Nathan Drew Morgan and a female friend fell off a jet ski into the lake and were in distress, CBS News reported.
Oconee County sheriff’s officials said the pair weren’t wearing life jackets and their jet ski was circling them.
A 74-year-old man and his wife who were nearby on a pontoon boat drove over to pull Morgan and his friend out of the lake, CBS News reported.
The couple told deputies that Morgan “became agitated and began assaulting” them after he was rescued.
Investigators said Morgan may have had an argument with his friend prior to them being dumped in the water and that the man may have wanted to get back on his jet ski, CBS News reported.
Oconee County Sheriff Mike Crenshaw said authorities believed Morgan may have been intoxicated at the time of the incident.
The sheriff’s department said the woman with Morgan pushed him back into the lake to defuse the situation, and then the elderly couple helped him back up onto the pontoon boat, CBS News reported.
But then Morgan went after the couple again and the elderly boat owner shot him, according to sheriff’s officials.
The man told deputies that he feared for his and his wife’s lives, CBS News reported.
Morgan died on the boat from a gunshot wound to the chest, according to the coroner’s office.
Authorities have not publicly identified the couple on the pontoon boat.
Sheriff Crenshaw said that 10th Circuit Solicitor David Wagner had reviewed the case and determined that the 74-year-old man shot Morgan in self-defense, WRDW reported.
Deputies said there were no plans to bring any criminal charges against the elderly man.
Neighbor Brandon Thomas told WSPA that it was “crazy” and “unexpected” to have a shooting on the lake.
“Certainly, have never seen anything like that or heard anything that like that,” Thomas said.