Crime

Felon who shot SC trooper in York County had weeks until supervision ended

How shootings and training impact officers involved in them

Joey Bass talks about being involved in a shooting while on duty for the Richland County Sheriff's Department in 2013.
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Joey Bass talks about being involved in a shooting while on duty for the Richland County Sheriff's Department in 2013.

A freed felon accused of shooting a South Carolina state trooper in York County earlier this month with “cop-killer bullets” had 32 days left of community supervision when he shot the officer, officials said.

Now, those days have been revoked as Willie Bernard Wright looks at the possibility of life in prison without parole if convicted of the attempted murder of a police officer.

York County court judge Dan Hall late Monday afternoon revoked the final 32 days of Wright’s six-year sentence for attempted murder from a 2013 guilty plea, according to state parole officials.

Wright had been freed in 2018 after serving most of his prison sentence.

Wright now is accused of shooting S.C. Highway Patrol trooper Paul Wise after a chase on June 2 using “cop-killer bullets” that can pierce bulletproof vests, police and prosecutors said.

Wise survived because the bullet went through the police car windshield, and he was wearing a Kevlar body armor vest, police and prosecutors said.

Wise was wounded and returned gunfire, officials said.

The shooting of Wise was captured on the trooper’s patrol car dash camera, police and prosecutors said.

Wright now will likely serve the remainder of his previous prison sentence in the York County jail awaiting trial for the shooting of Wise, said Pete O’Boyle, spokesperson for S.C. Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services.

Wright also has been charged by federal prosecutors with weapons crimes.

Kevin Brackett, 16th Circuit solicitor, said after Monday’s hearing that no trial date has been set.

Wright’s lawyer has said previously Wright maintains his innocence.

Wright faces the possibility of life without parole if convicted because he has previous convictions for attempted murder, armed robbery and other crimes. He remains in the York County jail without bond.

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