No charges will be filed against two Rock Hill Police Department officers who shot an armed suspect trying to commit “suicide by cop,” a top prosecutor said.
Lt. Carlos Culbreath and Michael Rowe shot the suspect, Jacob Dean Patterson, because they “had no choice” after Patterson tried to provoke them, said Kevin Brackett, 16th Circuit Solicitor. The use of force was “not excessive,” Brackett said.
Police had a mental health pickup order for Patterson when he pointed a gun at five officers, Brackett said.
“The shooting of Mr. Patterson by officers Culbreath and Rowe was a justified use of lethal force, in light of the fact that Mr. Patterson pointed a firearm at the officers as they attempted to execute a lawful commitment order,” Brackett said.
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“Indeed, Mr. Patterson himself acknowledges that his behavior and actions during his mental breakdown left the officers no choice but to fire their weapons,” Brackett said.
Brackett also said that “it appears to have been Mr. Patterson’s intention was to provoke their response in an attempt to commit ‘suicide by cop.’ ”
Agents with the State Law Enforcement Division investigated the Nov. 23 shooting and submitted their findings to Brackett, York County’s top prosecutor.
Culbreath is a 13-year veteran of the department. Rowe has been a Rock Hill officer for seven years.
Both returned to duty in late 2017, after being on administrative leave during the SLED investigation.
Patterson, 31, faces five pending felony charges of pointing and presenting a firearm from the incident. Police responded to Patterson’s Hutchinson Street home Nov. 23, after reports of an armed man on the porch. Patterson barricaded himself in the home and the Rock HILL SWAT team responded.
Patterson repeatedly refused to obey commands to put down his weapon and surrender, police and prosecutors said.
Patterson was arrested in December, after he was released from a Charlotte hospital.
Patterson remains in the York County jail without bond. His court cases are pending.