Greenville Police said an officer is on administrative leave after firing shots at a suspect who ran from an attempted robbery scene into a busy retail store and held an employee at knife point.
Police spokesman Johnathan Bragg said officers originally received several calls about an attempted armed robbery of a man on a bicycle along Laurens Road Saturday afternoon.
Bragg said the suspect tried a steal a man's bicycle at knife point on the sidewalk between Baileys Sports Bar and Hooters.
Several patrons from the restaurants saw the suspect knock the intended victim off his bike and ran over to intervene, Bragg said. The group of good Samaritans chased the suspect off and notified police that he was spotted entering Pep Boys just after 12:30 p.m., Bragg said.
Inside the auto parts store, Bragg said the man took a Pep Boys employee captive at knife point. Bragg said the suspect held a knife to the employee's throat and gave him verbal commands. The man was able to get away from the suspect with minor injuries.
When Greenville police officers confronted the suspect at Pep Boys, Bragg said the suspect still had the knife in his hand. While fearing for his safety and the safety of others in the store, Bragg said one officer opened fire on the suspect.
The suspect was alive when he was transported to the hospital from the scene, Bragg said.
The officer was not hurt, Bragg said.
The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division has been called in to investigate. The officer who shot the suspect was placed on administrative duty pending the outcome of the investigation. Bragg said another officers who was in the store was placed on administrative duty during the shooting investigation, per standard procedure.
Bragg said the victim who was knocked off his bicycle was not seriously hurt.
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