GREENVILLE, S.C. -- Greenville County deputies said a store clerk was wounded and a police dog was killed by a deputy during a chain of related events that began with a fight between a woman and her boyfriend.
VIDEO Sheriff's Office Talks About Store Shooting Deputies said that Nortasha McDowell went to the home of her boyfriend, Antwan Demarcus Whitmire, on Alice Avenue at about 3:30 a.m. Deputies said Whitmire, armed with a rifle, got into McDowell's car and made threats against her and people she knew.Whitmire then forced McDowell to drive around, eventually stopping to buy gas at Hot Spot on 3000 W. Blue Ridge Drive just before 5 a.m., according to deputies.Whitmire and McDowell went into the store together, where they began to fight, deputies said.Witnesses said that Whitmire grabbed McDowell and dragged her from the store by her hair.The fight continued outside until McDowell broke free and ran back into the store, deputies said.Deputies said that when the store employees shouted that they were calling 911, Whitmire retrieved a gun from the car, and he walked into the store and opened fire, hitting a female store clerk in the leg.When deputies responded to the store, they found the wounded woman and the windows shot out of the store. No customers were injured.The clerk was taken to Greenville Memorial Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.Search Ends With K-9's Death, Suspect's ArrestThe search for Whitmire then led deputies to a house on Alice Avenue.Greenville County Sheriff's Office Spokesman Lt. Shea Smith said several deputies and a police dog named Wes moved in on the house.When Whitmire ran out the back door, deputies approached the house from several directions, Smith said.He said that a deputy released Wes to go after the suspect, but the other deputies did not hear the deputy call out that he had released the dog. Smith said as deputies were handcuffing Whitmire, Wes began to bite the leg of one of the deputies.Annie Miles, who lives on Alice Avenue, said, "He had to shoot him to get the dog to turn him loose," she said. "The dog was biting that leg and wouldn't let it loose."Smith said the deputy was treated at Greenville Memorial Hospital.Wes, a 5-year-old Dutch shepherd, was with the sheriff's office for three years.Whitmire is charged with pointing and presenting a firearm, discharging a firearm into a dwelling, assault and battery with intent to kill, kidnapping, criminal domestic violence of a high and aggravated nature and two counts of assault with intent to kill. He is being held without bond.Smith said that, as is normal procedure when a deputy fires his weapon, an investigation will be conducted by the Office of Professional Standards.