South Carolina State Trooper Shot During Traffic Stop in York County

Andrew Tetreault

A South Carolina State Trooper shot after gunfire exchange during traffic stop in Rock Hill Sunday night.

UPDATE: The South Carolina Department of Public Safety reports that a trooper and suspect have been injured in an officer-involved shooting that occurred in York County on June 2, 2019.

The incident began near Mt. Gallant Road and Lexie Lane near Rock Hill around 7:45 p.m. Trooper Paul Wise attempted to stop the driver of a 2009 BMW for no safety belt. The suspect fled and the trooper began a short pursuit.

The suspect traveled south on Mt. Gallant Road, turning onto India Hook Road where he struck the gate at Camp Canaan Campground.

The suspect exited the vehicle and began firing at the trooper’s vehicle. The trooper returned fire, striking the suspect. Both were struck by the exchange of gunfire and were transported to area hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries.

Trooper Wise is assigned to Highway Patrol Troop Four, York County, and has been with the SC Highway Patrol since September 2016. He was transported to Piedmont Medical Center and is alert and in good condition.

The suspect Willie Bernard Wright, 27, of Gaffney, SC, was transported to Piedmont Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries.

The shooting is under investigation by the State Law Enforcement Division (SLED).

On Sunday June 2, 2019, at approximately 7:45 p.m., a South Carolina Highway Patrol (SCHP) State Trooper was attempting to stop a vehicle for a traffic violation in Rock Hill, South Carolina. Officials say the traffic stop was for a seat belt violation. The driver failed to stop which resulted in a brief pursuit.

The pursuit ended on India Hook Road near Sand Island Road at a dead end. South Carolina Director of Public Safety, Leroy Smith, said, "The suspect exited his vehicle and began to fire at the Trooper." The Trooper who has been identified as Paul Wise immediately returned fire at the suspect. Both the unidentified suspect and Trooper were struck as the result of the exchange of gunfire. Following the shooting the officer subsequently apprehend the suspect.

Trooper Paul Wise and the suspect were both transported to Piedmont Medical Center in Rock Hill to be treated. The suspect was then transferred to a medical center in Charlotte, North Carolina, for further treatment. The trooper sustained non-life-threatening injuries. The suspect's injuries were unclear as of early Monday morning.

South Carolina Director of Public Safety, Leroy Smith, said the trooper was wearing his body armor at the time of shooting. "We believe the body armor saved his life," said Leroy.

The investigation into the officer-involved is being conducted by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) at the request of the South Carolina Highway Patrol.