Fearing for his life and hiding in the laundry room of his South Carolina home last Thursday, Bryant Heyward dialed 911, pleading for protection against the two men attempting to break inside.
The intruders fired two rounds into his home and the 26-year-old man fired back. Sirens wailed in the distance as Heyward clutched his gun tighter. Nobody had been shot yet.
When Charleston County sheriff’s deputies arrived at the home, Heyward stepped outside to greet them, still clutching the gun.
He ended up shot in the neck and is now in critical condition.
All because he didn’t drop the gun in less than two seconds, according to a dash cam video that was released today.
Charleston Sheriff Al Cannon called it a “split second decision,” insinuating that perhaps deputy Keith Tyner was in fear for his life.
But Heyward never pointed the gun. And Tyner never ordered Heyward to drop the gun. All he did was order him to “show me your hands.”
And when Heyward didn’t comply within 1.1 seconds, Tyner opened fire.
“Wrong guy, sir! Wrong guy, sir!” Heyward screamed. “This is my house! … My house!”
But Heyward blamed himself for the shooting, admitting in the ambulance that he should have dropped the gun within a nanosecond, according to ABCNews4.
“I should have put the gun down but I didn’t,” Bryant Heyward told the detective inside the ambulance. “He thought I was the crook and shot.”
And the sheriff’s office released a statement urging people not to rush to judgement because that apparently, is only a right reserved for gun-toting deputies responding to 911 calls.
“To rely solely on someone’s untrained ears and eyes to evaluate the contents of the dash cam video, to include the time period to which this very complex sequence of events occurred, would be totally unfair and inappropriate to all parties involved,” officials said.
“As you can imagine, a scene of this magnitude always tend to be very chaotic in its early stages, which is very common. To this day, I continue to pray for Bryant Heyward’s family as well as for our deputy. Now, it is time for us to allow the investigative process to run its course.”
But on the bright side, deputies arrested one of the two burglars, Thomas Zachary Brown.
But on the not-so-bright side, Heyward may never walk again.
Videos below contain the dash cam video, which only picks up audio, as well as a recording of Heyward’s 911 call.