Bamberg County, SC – A South Carolina state trooper was shot in the face while conducting a traffic stop early Sunday morning.
The incident occurred on US-78 at approximately 3:30 a.m. on April 16, the South Carolina Department of Public Safety (SCDPS) said in a press release later that day.
South Carolina Highway Patrol (SCHP) Lance Corporal B. A. Frazier was out on patrol when he spotted vehicle traveling more than 20 miles per hour over the posted speed limit, according to the SCDPS.
At some point during the ensuing traffic stop, the suspect allegedly pulled out a gun and shot Cpl. Frazier in his face.
A Bamberg County sheriff’s deputy was assisting at the scene when the shooting occurred, WLTX reported.
Investigators said he and Cpl. Frazier returned fire, hitting the suspect’s vehicle before he sped away.
The gunman was soon located by a second trooper who heard a radio call regarding the description of the suspect vehicle, the SCDPS said.
The second trooper initiated a chase that ended when the suspect crashed his vehicle into a home in Orangeburg County.
It is unclear if anyone who may have been inside the residence was injured.
The suspect has since been identified as 37-year-old Derrick Gathers, WLTX reported.
Cpl. Frazier was rushed to a local hospital with a gunshot wound to the right side of his face, the SCDPS said.
He is expected to survive.
#Breaking South Carolina Trooper Shot During Traffic Stop
SCDPS can confirm one of our troopers was shot after initiating a traffic stop on US-78 in Bamberg County around 3:30 a.m. Lance Corporal Frazier was shot on the right side of his face. pic.twitter.com/IR4tDAwt3i
— Private Officer (@privateofficer) April 17, 2023
The SCHP confirmed on Monday that Cpl. Frazier’s condition has been upgraded to stable and that he has been making “significant progress,” WLTX reported.
Gathers was transported to a Charleston hospital for treatment after the crash, but has since been booked into the Bamberg County Detention Center.
He is now facing charges of attempted murder, failure to stop for blue lights, and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime, WLTX reported.
The South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) is handling the ongoing investigation into the attack, as per protocol.
Cpl. Frazier joined the SDHP Troop 7 in 2018, according to the SCDPS.
He is currently assigned to Post A, encompassing Hampton, Barnwell, Bamberg, and Allendale.
A special thanks to our partner, @ServeAndConnect, who established a fundraiser to help support Lance Corporal Frazier and his family during this difficult time. https://t.co/9VByoLRUHM
— SCDPS (@SCDPS_PIO) April 17, 2023
A fundraising campaign established to help the wounded hero during his recovery has raised more than $8,000 so far.