Report: Officers who killed Chester man acted in self-defense

MYRTLE BEACH — Officers who fatally shot a Chester man on Ocean Boulevard over the summerwere acting in self-defense and will not be prosecuted, the solicitor'soffice said on Monday.

Codyus Naville Morris, 24, was shot at about 10 p.m. on July 18 on thebustling 900 block of Ocean Boulevard near The Myrtle Beach PavilionAmusement Park.

"A gun battle on a crowded Ocean Boulevard during the summer season in thelate evening hours created a tremendous risk of loss of life, both to theparties involved and innocent bystanders," the report stated. "Officers,however, engaged in no conduct that rises to the level of criminal conductand were fully justified, under the specific circumstances of this case, inemploying lethal force."

The finding also ends a state investigation into the incident.This effectively closes the investigation, said Bobbi Schlatterer,spokeswoman for the State Law Enforcement Division. Witnesses at the timesaid the area was brimming with tourists and jam-packed with traffic.Morris was driving down Ocean Boulevard when police tried to stop him aftersomeone told them he had a gun, the solicitor's report said. Morris droveonto the crowded sidewalk to try to get away, but crashed into a tree andstopped, the report said.

Morris raised his gun, a 9 mm semi-automatic handgun, after repeatedly beingtold to put it down and turned toward the officers, the report said.They police fired hitting him several times, the report said. He died at thescene, the coroner said.

Morris' gun was loaded but was not working after it was shot by one of theofficers, the report said. It did not say whether Morris fired his gun.The report said that Morris may have tried to get away from police becausehe was not legally allowed to have a gun because of his criminal past.Codyus Carter had a 2-year-old son and was planning on marrying a woman witha 5-year-old daughter, his grandmother said.

"He was a nice person," she said. "It makes me feel kind of sad, but there'snothing to be done about it."

She said she wasn't there so she could not say if she believed the report."Codyus isn't there to talk for himself," said Ruth Carter, Codyus Carter'sgrandmother. "They said it was self-defense, but there's two sides foreverything, ain't that right?"

Contact LISA FLEISHER at 626-0317 or lfleisher@thesunnews.com.