Shortly before midnight on June 14, Dick Tench, a 62-year-old South Carolina man was startled as his doorbell rang. A licensed conceal carry permit holder, Tench cautiously proceeded downstairs in the dark to investigate. Moments later, he was shot four times bleeding from his chest and groin in the foyer of his home.
Tench was shot in the most stunning of circumstances – by a sheriff responding to a medical alarm call.
A Greenville County sheriff arrived at the residence after both 911 and the smartphone alarm app company attempted to reach the Tenchs without success.
Sheriff’s Office Captain Tim Brown explained in a YouTube release (video below):
“According to the deputy, after noticing the man inside, he illuminates him with his flashlight, and as he did so, the man who was initially walking away from the front door, turned and pointed his gun at him…
In an effort to defend himself against the perceived threat, the deputy fired his issued weapon as he retreated off the porch and subsequently struck the individual multiple times.”
The shots were fired from the front porch, through a small window into the home striking Tench in the chest, pelvis, and grazing his forearm and back, according to Fieldstadt.
Body cam footage shows a confused Tench sprawled on the floor exclaiming to the deputy:
“You’re in my house … I saw lights, and I heard the doorbell ring, and I got my gun. I’m a concealed-weapons guy… Get the ambulance here, I’m going to die, hurry. You came to my house at 12 o’clock at night, I’m sleeping. Goddamn, I’ve got to protect my house. Oh my God, get the ambulance right now, I’m going to die.”
Before the deputy entered the house, the body cam footage captures a bleeding and shocked Tench still trying to make sense of the situation.
Tench: “Who are you?”
Deputy: “The sheriff’s office”
Tench: “What are you here for?”
Deputy: “Because we got an alarm call.”
Tench: “Oh my God call the cops. Please.”
Deputy: “I am the cops.”
The deputy, beginning to perform medical assistance, tries to calm the homeowner saying:
“OK, we’re not going to talk about this right now, we’re going to focus on keeping you alive, so take some deep breaths, and you’re going to be OK, alright.”
Originally, the Sheriff’s office had released a Facebook post stating that the homeowner had opened the front door and pointed the gun at the deputy.
However, since the bodycam footage has been released, Tench’s attorney Beattie Ashmore states that the homeowner never opened the locked front door. The Sheriff’s office has since removed the social media post.
Dick Tench survived the four shots. One bullet was removed from an aorta in his back and another bullet will remain in his pelvis, according to Fieldstadt.
The other two wounds were grazings that did not require removal.
However, Tench reports that he now requires a walker to move about.
According WYFF News, Attorney Ashmore says:
“I cannot recall a more egregious set of circumstances… It is clear from the body camera video that the front door was closed, it was locked and my client was shot four times through the window of his own front door.”
The deputy, whose name has not been released, is on administrative leave. Both the South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division and the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office are investigating.
According to Fieldstadt, Lt. Ryan Flood of the sheriff’s office says the investigation is “to determine whether the deputy’s actions were consistent with the strict guidelines and standards set forth in the sheriff’s office policy.”