Newberry, SC (WLTX)--The quick and thoughtful action of a Newberry County Sheriff likely has saved the life of a 15-year-old.
The deputy was called to a residence on Dennis Dairy Road for an out of control juvenile just before 8pm last Wednesday.
When the deputy arrived at the scene, he was speaking with a family member inside the residence when the 15 year-old walked around the corner of the hallway, produced a black pistol and pointed it at the officer, and said, "Oh I have a treat for you."
The officer took evasive action and drew his weapon as the 15 year-old fired his weapon.
The gun turned out to be a bb gun.
The officer and another family member were struck by a couple of bb rounds because the officer had to sudue the 15 year-old before taking him into custody.
When backup arrived on the scene, the suspect continued to struggle with the officers and at one point attempted to grab and take one of the officer's firearm.
He was finally subdued and taken into custody.
He has been taken for a mental evaluation after making threats to harm himself.
"When someone is pointing a gun at a police officer, they must make a rapid life and death decision," said Sheriff Lee Foster. "We are very fortunate that this officer had the presence of mind to realize that it was a bb gun not a real gun that had just been fired at him."
"The officer would have been completely justified given the circumstances to have fired his weapon, but he exhibited great self-restraint and because of this, this young man is alive today," said Foster.
"We police officers have to make these decisions, they are often judged, criticized, and condemned by someone who has never had to make such a decision. Anytime a law enforcement officer has to pull and fire their weapon, it is a gut wrenching decision. We are very blessed that everyone survived this incident, and it is a stark reminder of how quickly such things can happen," Foster concluded.