An internal investigation regarding an officer-involved shooting at Tanger Outlets 2 was completed earlier this week by the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office and found no policy violations were made by a sergeant who was placed on administrative leave after a Hilton Head Island man was shot.
Sgt. Raymond Heroux stopped a vehicle driven by Akeem Jenkins, 21, on Dec. 9 in the outlet mall’s parking lot near the Nike Factory Store around 5:45 p.m. after he observed a traffic violation, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
During the traffic stop, Jenkins allegedly put the vehicle in reverse, trapping Heroux and dragging him for a distance before Heroux discharged his firearm and injured Jenkins.
Heroux was treated at Hilton Head Hospital and released that night. He and Sgt. Selena Nelson, who arrived at the scene as backup, were placed on administrative leave.
Nelson returned to work Dec. 23 and also did not violate any policy during the incident, Sheriff P.J. Tanner said Friday. Tanner determined Nelson could return to work after meeting with the internal affairs investigator assigned to the case, he said.
Heroux remains on leave due to injuries sustained during the incident. Tanner declined to comment on the extent of Heroux’s injuries.
The internal investigation was launched after the shooting, along with an investigation into the officer-involved aspect of the shooting that is being conducted by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division.
Tanner said that no policy violations were committed by Heroux as his actions were compared to the department’s General Orders Manual.
After a series of requests made by The Island Packet following the shooting to see the General Orders Manual relating to traffic stops, vehicle pursuits and use of force, the Sheriff’s Office released portions of the manual with sections that could be specifically related to the incident redacted.
Procedures relevant to the traffic stop and its aftermath “were reviewed for the presence of sensitive law enforcement tactics used by deputies on traffic stops. After a thorough review, a few select areas were redacted appropriately,” a Sheriff’s Office news release said.
Tanner said a date for Heroux’s return to duty has not been established.
When he returns, Heroux will most likely begin with “light duty” by being placed on administrative assignments for the department before he is cleared by a doctor to resume full duty, Tanner said.
As for the SLED investigation, Tanner said he believes it will be complete by the end of January.
“I appreciate the public’s patience in making sure that this case is investigated thoroughly,” Tanner said. “I have full confidence in SLED that they will be thorough in their investigation.”
As EMS treated Jenkins at the scene, they reportedly found at least 10 grams of cocaine on him — a felony offense.
Jenkins was flown to Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah, transferred to the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office and then booked into the Beaufort County Detention Center after extradition to South Carolina.
Jenkins was assigned a bond of $100,000 on Dec. 22 on cocaine trafficking charges.
He was released from the Detention Center on Dec. 24 after he posted bail, according to the detention center’s website.
Tanner said Jenkins could receive additional charges from SLED in conjunction with the 14th Circuit Solicitor’s Office.
“I think Sgt. Nelson and Heroux, along with myself and the rest of the Sheriff’s Office, are looking forward to the closure of this,” Tanner said. “If any additional charges are filed, we look forward to that as well.”