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Hero Down: Anderson Co. Sheriff’s K9 Roscoe Killed By Friendly Fire In Confrontation With Gunman

Anderson County, SC – Anderson County Sheriff’s Office (ACSO) K9 Roscoe died in the line of duty on Aug. 12 after being hit by friendly fire during an encounter with an armed suspect.

The incident began at approximately 10:30 p.m., when 21-year-old Bryan Keith Hamilton and an unnamed 16-year-old girl led ACSO deputies on a pursuit, Anderson County Sheriff Chad McBride told WCSC.

According to Anderson County Coroner Greg Shore, the deputies ultimately terminated the pursuit because Hamilton was driving too recklessly, WHNS reported.

Shortly thereafter, Hamilton crashed into a yellow cab new a Lowes store, and he and the juvenile female bailed out and took off on foot, police said.

Deputies chased the suspects into a dimly-lit, wooded area.

As soon as K9 Roscoe engaged with the suspect, the deputies heard a female scream, Shore told WHNS.

At nearly the same moment, deputies spotted the silhouette of a suspect with a gun, followed by a muzzle flash, Sheriff McBride said.

The deputies opened fire, but not before Hamilton fatally shot himself in the head, according to Shore.

K9 Roscoe was hit by friendly fire during the split-second encounter.

“This was a situation that happened in about two-and-a-half, three seconds and the officers, in the interview, [said] felt they were ambushed,” Shore told WCSC.

Sheriff Mc-Bride described the encounter as a “combat-style situation.”

“Deputies returned fire believing they were fired upon in just mere seconds,” the sheriff told WCSC.

Hamilton was pronounced dead at the scene, WHNS reported.

He was hit by several of the officers’ rounds, but the coroner determined those wounds occurred post-mortem.

The 16-year-old girl was airlifted to a local hospital, WCSC reported.

Her condition has not been released.

K9 Roscoe, a three-year-old German shepherd, was rushed to a veterinarian’s office, where he succumbed to his gunshot wounds the following morning, WCSC reported.

He joined the ACSO in 2017, and was certified in tracking, criminal apprehension, and narcotics detection.

K9 Roscoe was named ACSO’s officer of the month just days before the deadly shooting, according to the Independent Mail.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office in the loss of K9 Roscoe.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

View all articles
Written by Holly Matkin

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