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Dillon woman says DNR officer didn’t have to shoot her son

(WPDE)

Dillon, S.C. (WPDE) -- Mattie Tyndall is still in shock over seeing her 17-year-old son get shot Wednesday by a S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) officer on River Access Road off Highway 57 near the Little Pee Dee River in Dillon County.

The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) said the shooting happened during a litter surveillance operation.

Tyndall said she, her son and his friends were all at the lake having a good time

She added the DNR officer got into it with a woman at the river and that’s when Tyndall said her teenage son decided to leave.

"My son says he's gone leave. He goes to leave. The officer turns around, stops hit the window and shoots my baby. In his arm. My baby is 17 years old. This could ruin his life. We don't know if he's gonna recover from this. We don't even know if they're gonna have to take his arm off,” said Tyndall.

She said her son wasn’t threatening at all to the officer and didn’t have any weapons.

"He told me and he was holding my youngin' on the ground. Told me not to get near him. Holding my youngin' on the ground talking about, I did not mean to shoot you. I did not mean to shoot you. Why did you even pull the gun to start with? There was no weapons down there. No weapons, none,” said Tyndall.

She said her son is now lying in bed with a major injury to his arm. She said he will need another surgery and may never have full use of his arm.

“He asked me this morning, Mama, why he’d shoot me? What did I do? Why did he shoot me? What am I suppose to tell him? It’s not okay. It’s not okay at all. I’m not gonna stop until I get some type of closure on this. Some type of closure. And I don’t care how long it takes me. Cause that child means the world to me. And he almost took my world away,” she said.

The Dillon County Sheriff’s Office initially investigated the incident until SLED took over.

Deputies told us the DNR officer was also hurt during the incident, but not from being shot.

SLED agents are talking with the officer and others at the river to try and determine what led up to the shooting.

When their investigation is complete, they will present their findings to prosecutors.

The DNR officer involved in the shooting has worked with the department for four years.

No word on his current status with the department.

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