DPS fires trooper who shot man during traffic stop

Published: Sep. 19, 2014 at 9:54 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 24, 2014 at 12:44 PM EDT
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Trooper S.M. Groubert
Trooper S.M. Groubert

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - The South Carolina Highway Patrol trooper involved in a trooper-involved shooting has been fired, according to the state Department of Public Safety.

L. Cpl. S.M. Groubert has been terminated from his position as of Friday.

"After my review of the facts surrounding this matter, I have determined that Mr. Groubert's actions rose to such an extent that his employment with us must be terminated," DPS Director Leroy Smith said. "The facts of this case are disturbing to me, but I believe this case was an isolated incident in which Mr. Groubert reacted to a perceived threat where there was none."


Groubert pulled Levar Edward Jones over for a seatbelt violation at a Circle K on Broad River Road at 5 p.m. last Thursday.

Authorities have not said what exactly led Groubert to remove his weapon from his holster and shoot Jones in the hip. Jones was taken to an area hospital where he was treated and released. He continues to recover from his wound, but he says he hopes the shooting will lead to changes across the country.

SLED finished a report on the incident and handed it over to Fifth Circuit Solicitor Dan Johnson.

"My Office is now in the process of investigating this incident," Solicitor Dan Johnson said in a statement.  "To that end, we have requested several additional items from SLED which are presently outstanding."

Over the last fifteen days, Solicitor Johnson has called several meetings involving SLED, the South Carolina Highway Patrol and the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Rule 3.6 of the SC Rules of Professional Conduct prohibit an attorney involved in the investigation or litigation of a matter to make extra judicial statements to prevent pre-trial publicity.

"At this juncture, I believe Rule 3.6 prohibits me from releasing details regarding the shooting, to include all video," Johnson said.

"At the conclusion of the investigation, or if criminal charges are brought, the public will be made fully aware of all of the facts and circumstances surrounding the events that occurred on Sept. 4," Johnson said.  "Obviously, I believe that transparency and responsiveness to the public are very important. However, I also have a duty to protect the rights of all citizens and potential litigants."

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