Man who survived nine police shootings sues ‘cowboy’ officers

A South Carolina man who survived being shot nine times by police sued officers who he said behaved “like cowboys in a John Wayne movie.”

Trevor Mullinax was sitting in a pickup truck on private property and had a shotgun with him in May 2021 when police were called for a welfare check, the lawsuit claims.

Court documents indicate that Mullinax’s mother, Tammy Beason, was standing by the truck while her son suffered a mental health crisis and that “at no time did he point the gun at himself or anyone else.”

Trevor Mullinax sues after surviving nine shots by police during welfare check

(Bamberg legal)

The lawsuit claims that after the caller called 911 and requested the welfare check, officers did not attempt to call Mr. Mullinax or his mother, despite being given their phone numbers, WBTV reported.

“Prior to arriving at the Plaintiffs’ location, the sheriff’s deputies did not plan, choosing to ride like cowboys from a John Wayne movie, using deadly force by default, immediately, with no attempt to de-escalate the situation, in total disregard for state law. /regulation, sheriff’s policies and/or county ordinances,” the lawsuit states.

Court documents indicate York County Sheriff’s Office deputies fired nearly 50 rounds at Mr. Mullinax, striking him nine times, including in the head.

Mullinax’s lawyers say she had her hands up and her mother, who is also part of the lawsuit, was directly in the line of fire.

And the lawsuit claims that during the encounter, Mr. Mullinax never raised or pointed a weapon that would have justified the officers’ use of deadly force.

The sheriff’s office says Mr. Mullinax pointed a gun at deputies, causing them to shoot him.

“These officers appropriately responded to the threat as they were trained to do so,” York County Sheriff Kevin Tolson said in a statement. “If Mr. Mullinax had made different decisions that day, the officers would not have had to use force.”

The agency also says the shooting was independently investigated by the South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division, and all officers involved were cleared of any wrongdoing by the 16th Circuit Attorney’s Office.

Three of the four deputies still work for the force and a fourth left to join the private sector.

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