Sheriff Rick Clark has returned Sergeant Robert Porter and Deputy Matt McGaha to full active duty effective immediately following his review of the agency’s internal investigation. The investigation stems from the officer involved shooting that occurred at 278 Nursery Road in Easley on Saturday, October 19, 2019.
Both deputies had been placed on Administrative Leave with Pay after the shooting incident that resulted in the death of Rickey Leonard Harris.
The Office of Professional Standards, which is the agency’s internal affairs unit, was directed by Sheriff Clark to investigate the incident independent of the criminal investigation that is still being conducted by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division.
The internal investigation file was turned over to Sheriff Clark late yesterday afternoon for his review. He issued his directive today to return both deputies to full active status with no restrictions.
Sheriff Clark stated…
“Our agency has reviewed the facts and circumstances surrounding this incident involving the use of deadly force and I concur with the findings that the deputies were justified and within policy in their decision to discharge a service weapon for the protection of their own life.
Anytime a life is lost it’s a very tragic situation. Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with our deputies, their families, and the family of Mr. Harris.”
On 10-19-19 Deputies with the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office were involved in a shooting incident that resulted in the death of Rickey Leonard Harris (61 YOA). At approximately 2:48 pm, deputies arrived at the residence located at 278 Nursery Road, Easley, South Carolina, in response to a domestic disturbance.
Sheriff Rick Clark requested assistance from the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) to conduct the investigation into the circumstances of the shooting. The Office of Professional Standards, which is the internal affairs unit of the sheriff’s office, was directed by Sheriff Clark to investigate the incident independent of the criminal investigation that is being conducted by SLED. Two deputies were on scene at the time of the shooting; both of which have been placed on paid administrative leave, per sheriff’s office policy, pending the outcome of the internal review into the incident involving their use of force.
Details from the internal review thus far have confirmed that Mr. Harris exited his residence onto the front porch with a weapon that he pointed at deputies. One shot was fired by a deputy on scene that struck Mr. Harris in the chest. He died at the scene.
No one else was injured during the incident.
The Sheriff’s Office had one other call for service at this residence in March of 2016 that was related to a simple assault involving a dispute over a canine. Both parties to the incident at that time declined to cooperate with law enforcement and the case was closed.
No additional information will be released at this time.
On 10-19-19 Deputies with the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office were involved in a use of force incident that resulted in the death of an Easley man. He was 61 YOA. At approximately 2:48 pm, deputies arrived at the residence located at 278 Nursery Road, Easley, South Carolina, in response to a domestic disturbance.
No one else was injured during the incident.
Sheriff Rick Clark requested that the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division respond to conduct the investigation. The deputies were placed on administrative leave pending the outcome.
Further request for information should be directed to the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division.
The Pickens County Sheriff’s Office is currently investigating a stabbing that occurred at a residence located at 1620 Ruhamah Road, Liberty, South Carolina.
Deputies were dispatched and arrived at this location at approximately 6:01 this evening. Upon their arrival, they were advised that an altercation between brothers turned violent when one brother allegedly stabbed the other with a knife. The victim advised Detectives that he had not seen his brother in over three years until this incident. Both subjects are adult age males.
The alleged victim was transported to an area hospital with what appear to be non-life threatening injuries.
The suspect, identified as Wesley Edwin Smith (31 YOA) was arrested on scene and transported to the Pickens County Detention Center where he remains pending arrest warrants.
Detectives are actively investigating and further details will be released at a later time.
A booking photo of the suspect has been attached to this release.