Hopkins, SC-- The deputy coroner of Richland County shot another county employee, tried to shoot a woman, then killed himself, according to Sheriff Leon Lott.
Lott laid out the latest details in a fatal shooting that happened Tuesday in Hopkins during a news conference Wednesday afternoon.
The incident happened outside a home in the 1500 block of Clarkson Road in Hopkins at 12:30 Tuesday.
According to Lott, Deputy Coroner Leonard Bradley went to the home, where he encountered Levi Brown, a Richland County litter control officer (a member of law enforcement) and a woman. Lott said Bradley had been having some sort of personal relationship with the woman.
At the time, Brown was having a conversation with the woman outside the home. Lott says Brown and the woman were acquaintances, and Brown was there in uniform and in his patrol vehicle.
An argument ensued, and Lott says Bradley began firing a gun at Brown.
Brown, who was wearing a bullet-proof vest because he's a law enforcement officer, was hit by gunfire in the arm.
"We believe his vest probably saved his life," Lott said.
Lott said he believes Bradley tried to kill the woman too, but she ran inside the home and locked the door.
Lott said Bradley tried to enter the house to get the female, but went out into the garage, pulled out a gun, and committed suicide.
The exact motive is not known, but Lott did call it a domestic situation.
"I can't tell you what the intent was, other than he tried to kill both of them," he said.
Bradley was well known in the Richland County law enforcement in the community, having over 40 years of experience that included time at the Columbia Police Department and the Richland County Sheriff's Department. He'd been with the coroner's office since 2006, and had been deputy coroner since 2012.
"I think all of us who knew him are very shocked and sad," Lott said.
Coroner Gary Watts says Bradley had gone on medical leave last week so that he could deal with some issues,.
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