The South Carolina man shot by a volunteer police officer during a traffic stop last week says the experience is something he’ll have to live with for the rest of his life.
“I didn’t deserve to be shot three times,” Brandon Fludd told ABC World News Tonight.
A Florence police officer said he stopped Fludd in the late hours of March 24 for speeding, adding that his car had crossed the center line of the road. That officer was accompanied by Constable Christopher Bachochin, who was on a ride along. A second police officer also arrived at the scene.
In police body cam footage released by the Florence Police Department on Tuesday, March 27, the Florence officer approaches Fludd’s car to get his information, and says he notices the smell of marijuana. That’s when Fludd is asked to step out of his car, which he refuses to do.
“Honestly, I’m not stepping out of my car, for what?” Fludd is heard saying. ” … I’m not stepping out my car right now. Can’t you just run my information?”
The situation soon escalates as Fludd puts his car in reverse and tries to flee, hitting a police cruiser in the process. Bachochin fires eight shots into the vehicle as Fludd drives away.
After fleeing the scene, Fludd said he met his wife and then drove her car to the hospital. He said he was shot three times; in the chest, arm and his knee, ABC News reported.
When asked why he drove away, Fludd told the network, “Because I got nervous. I shouldn’t have taken off, I should have listened. But I got nervous and scared.”
“Next time someone tells you to get out of the car, they tell you directly, listen to them because it could’ve end worse,” the man added.
The incident is now being investigated by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED).
Bachochin, who’s considered an “advanced-level” constable with over 85 hours of training, has been suspended from his duties for the time being. He’s been with the voulnteer program since 2012.
“We’re deeply concerned that a pharmacist who volunteers as a constable has the ability to not only carry a weapon while observing actual police work, but to discharge it eight times into a moving vehicle,” Fludd’s lawyer, South Carolina State Rep. Justin Bamberg, said in a statement. “Volunteer constables, like the pharmacist involved in this incident, do not have the appropriate training and should not be allowed to participate at the same level as a member of law enforcement.”
“We will continue our own investigation into this incident and will ensure that Mr. Fludd’s rights are protected,” Bramberg added.
The two Florence officers involved in the incident haven’t been placed on leave.