Police: Lancaster officer shoots man who attacked officer with knife

Investigators are on the scene of an officer-involved shooting on Magnolia Lane in Lancaster.
Investigators are on the scene of an officer-involved shooting on Magnolia Lane in Lancaster.

A man who tried to attack a Lancaster police officer with a knife was wounded when an officer’s gun discharged Friday morning, authorities said.

State law enforcement agents were investigating the officer-involved shooting, which happened about 8 a.m. Friday inside a home at 107 Magnolia Lane.

Lancaster police officers were called to assist at the home, where the family requested help “checking on a family member who had started acting uncharacteristically violent in the last few days,” according to a statement from the Lancaster Police Department.

When police arrived, the man assaulted one of the officers with a knife in his hand, police said. Another officer discharged a weapon, and the bullet struck the man and ended the confrontation, police said.

Family members identified the shooting victim as Melvin Truesdale, who is in his 60s and suffers from mental incapacity, according to The Herald’s news partner WSOC-TV.

A female officer was believed to be involved.

Truesdale was taken to Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte. SLED officials said he is believed to have injuries that are not life-threatening.

Three Lancaster police officers who were on the scene during the incident were placed on paid administrative leave, under department policy, police said.

Further details were not available from Lancaster police.

Lancaster police said the State Law Enforcement Division is investigating. The Sixth Circuit solicitor also responded.

Lancaster Police Chief Harlean Carter said the incident was “unfortunate.” She said the department “is cooperating fully with SLED as their investigation into this incident continues.”

SLED investigates officer-involved shootings at the request of an involved agency. The agency is interviewing officers and others, and there may be dash cam video, according to SLED.

The incident was the 41st officer-involved shooting in South Carolina this year, according to SLED, and the first this year involving a Lancaster police officer.

Jennifer Becknell: 803-329-4077

S.C. closer to record for officer-involved shootings

Police officers in South Carolina shot two people in a little more than 12 hours, authorities said Friday, bringing the state closer to its record for the most officer-involved shootings in a year.

A 36-year-old woman was killed Thursday evening by a Berkeley County deputy after authorities said she was firing a gun randomly.

Hours later, in Lancaster, a police officer shot and wounded a man Friday morning.

The shootings are the 40th and 41st officer-involved shootings in South Carolina in 2015. The state had 42 shootings last year. The highest number of shootings recorded since SLED began keeping track some 15 years ago is 45 officer-involved shootings in 2012.

Shootings involving police officers in South Carolina have been on the rise since 27 were reported in 2009, with more than 40 reported in each of the past three years.

So far, an officer has faced charges in only one of the 2015 shootings. North Charleston officer Michael Slager was charged with murder after a video surfaced of the April shooting of an unarmed black man running from a traffic stop. He is awaiting trial.

One police officer has been shot and killed in the state this year. Forest Acres officer Greg Alia was killed in September during a struggle with a suspect at a mall.

In Berkeley County, authorities were called to a home near Goose Creek around 7 p.m. Thursday after callers to 911 reported a woman randomly shooting a gun.

Officers first tried to use non-lethal force to subdue Laura Lemieux, Berkeley County spokesman Michael Mule said.

But that didn’t work, and an officer shot Lemieux when she turned the gun on police, Mule said. She died about 75 minutes later at the hospital.

The name of the deputy who fired has not been released.

Associated Press