Man shoots self in chest in front of deputies, dies en route to hospital

astice@islandpacket.comNovember 5, 2012 

A 22-year-old man reported as suicidal shot himself in the chest as Beaufort County sheriff's deputies approached his car Monday on St. Helena Island.

He died of the self-inflicted gunshot wound on the way to the hospital, authorities say.

The man's identity has not been released.

Friends and co-workers called the Sheriff's Office earlier in the day to report he was suicidal, according to a news release.

Just after 2 p.m., deputies spotted the man's dark green Oldsmobile sedan and followed it to the area of Eddings Point Road and Sea Island Parkway.

As they approached the car, he backed his vehicle away and hit a patrol car, the release said.

Deputies saw that the driver had a shotgun pointed at his chest. As they approached again, he shot himself in the torso, he release said.

The deputies worked to keep the man alive until EMS arrived.

Investigators from the Port Royal Police Department, the State Law Enforcement Division, S.C. Highway Patrol and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service are working on the case.

More details, including the man's identity, "will be released as they become available," according to the release.

Beaufort County Coroner Ed Allen also declined to release the man's identity as the investigation continues.

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