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SLED continues investigation of officer involved in shooting in Lexington County

Lexington, SC (Angelica Iglesias) - The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division continues their investigation of an incident that occurred on the morning of Tuesday, May 9 on the 200 block of Seleta Circle, near Pond Branch Road. A Lexington County Sheriff’s Department deputy fatally shot John Bittle, 39, of Lexington during a confrontation while the officer was attempting to serve him a warrant for his arrest on drug charges. Deputies claim Bittle turned on them and was armed when he was shot.

SLED conducts law enforcement officer involved shooting investigations at the request of the agencies involved in the incidents. The investigations follow SLED’s guidance in interviewing along with the gathering and analyzing of forensic evidence. There is no body cam or dash cam video from the incident. Information gathered during the investigation will be summarized in a case file report to be submitted to the 11th Circuit Solicitor’s Office in Lexington County.

The investigation is ongoing, and SLED has not released new information about the case at this time. SLED will defer to the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department for any information about officers involved in the incident.

The incident was the 20th officer involved shooting in South Carolina in 2017 and the second this year involving a deputy of the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department. In 2016, there were 41 officer involved shootings in SC; one involved the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department.

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