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TO HONOR SERGEANT RICHARD BRANHAM, CORPORAL JORDAN BROWN, DEPUTY DASHAUN BOYD, DEPUTY MARCUS BEASLEY, DEPUTY QUENTIN ELEY, DEPUTY SYDNEY CANIPE, AND DEPUTY JOHNNY ARCILA OF THE CHESTER COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE, WHO DISPLAYED EXCEPTIONAL COURAGE IN THE FACE OF DANGER WHILE IN THE LINE OF DUTY, AND TO CONGRATULATE THEM UPON RECEIVING THE SOUTH CAROLINA SHERIFFS' ASSOCIATION MEDAL OF VALOR.
Whereas, the South Carolina General Assembly is pleased to learn that seven officers of the Chester County Sheriff's Office, having courageously taken swift, decisive action that led to the capture of a serial killer while facing extreme danger, have been awarded the South Carolina Sheriffs' Association Medal of Valor; and
Whereas, during the late night hours of May 17, 2021, the Delta Patrol Shift of the Chester County Sheriff's Office entered the life-threatening pursuit of a then-unknown serial killer to protect the citizens of Chester County; and
Whereas, close to midnight, Deputy Canipe attempted a traffic stop of a vehicle in a parking lot on Highway 9. Failing to stop, the vehicle left the area traveling toward Chester. The deputy pursued the vehicle and was promptly assisted by Sergeant Branham. A long chase to stop the fleeing vehicle ensued, with several officers taking part, all exhibiting courage, perseverance, and clear thinking under high pressure, to bring the chase to a successful conclusion; and
Whereas, approaching the city of Chester at a speed of 118 mph, the chase became more dangerous when a male suspect leaned out of the vehicle, held a firearm with both hands, and opened fire on law enforcement. Sergeant Branham, in an effort to stop the threat after ensuring no civilian vehicles were nearby, balanced his patrol rifle on his Durango's dashboard with his right hand while steering with his left and returned fire through the windshield of his own vehicle. The suspect temporarily stopped firing from the vehicle; and
Whereas, additional officers joined the chase, but they could not return the suspect's renewed fire without endangering civilians. Nevertheless, members of Delta Shift continued the pursuit, even as they were fired upon. The suspect flew through the heart of Chester, continuing to fire upon law enforcement, and then sped north on Highway 72 in the direction of York County; and
Whereas, as the chase entered York County, the suspect fired at the officers in pursuit, after which Deputy Eley executed a maneuver on the pursued vehicle that caused it to wreck. Exiting the suspect's vehicle, two subjects fled, the shooter disappearing into the woods while the vehicle's driver was immediately taken into custody. The officers established a perimeter and received additional perimeter personnel. A weeklong manhunt for the shooter followed, and he was captured without incident on May 22, 2021. As the investigation revealed, he and the driver of the fleeing vehicle were connected to numerous crimes, including murders in three states. They have been charged with eleven counts of attempted murder, five counts of murder, one count of arson, and other charges; and
Whereas, gratefully, the General Assembly recognizes that the safety and security of our State depend, in great measure, upon the courage and dedication of individuals who, like these fine Chester County officers, put their lives on the line every day to protect the citizens of South Carolina. Now, therefore,
Be it resolved by the House of Representatives, the Senate concurring:
That the members of the South Carolina General Assembly, by this resolution, honor Sergeant Richard Branham, Corporal Jordan Brown, Deputy Dashaun Boyd, Deputy Marcus Beasley, Deputy Quentin Eley, Deputy Sydney Canipe, and Deputy Johnny Arcila of the Chester County Sheriff's Office, who displayed exceptional courage in the face of danger while in the line of duty, and congratulate them upon receiving the South Carolina Sheriffs' Association Medal of Valor.
Be it further resolved that a copy of this resolution be presented to each of these outstanding officers.
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