Gunman accused in previous violence

Dearborne Road was blocked at Waltham Road on Monday after a shootout between officers and a resident.

The man who was fatally wounded after shooting a North Charleston police officer Monday had a long history of arrests on domestic violence charges.

The Charleston County Coroner’s Office identified him as William Tracy Patterson, 34.

Patterson was out of jail on $20,000 bail after being arrested last month and charged with second-degree domestic violence, according to Charleston County records.

He had been arrested in May and charged with third-degree domestic violence and third-degree assault and battery and released on $6,000 bail.

Patterson was also arrested Christmas Day in Berkeley County. He was charged with domestic violence of a high and aggravated nature and released on a $75,000 personal-recognizance bond, according to court records.

Police were called to the usually quiet Northwood Estates neighborhood off Greenridge Road shortly before 4:30 p.m. Monday. Residents who live on Dearborne Road told officers a white car was driving erratically, according to the incident report. The officers were advised the car was possibly parked behind 8174 Waltham Road, which is where Patterson lived with a woman.

As police headed to Patterson’s house, an officer with another agency told them he had identified himself and tried to stop the car on foot on Waltham Road but the driver sped up and tried to run him over. He said Patterson turned around and tried to run him down again.

Officers found the car parked behind Patterson’s house with the driver’s side door open and the engine running. They tried to contact him without success, heard shots inside the house and took cover nearby.

The SWAT team and negotiation unit were called in. The man appeared at a second-story window and started shooting at officers with a long gun, according to the report.

Officer Wayne Pavlischek, who has been with the department for three years, was hit in the right side of the abdomen as he tried to get by the house to evacuate nearby residents. His vest probably saved his life, according to Chief Deputy David Cheatle. He was taken to Medical University Hospital and released. He will be on leave until further notice, Cheatle said.

Patterson eventually came out the front door firing at officers and was shot. Three police cars were hit by bullets, including one vehicle with three officers behind it.

Patterson died Monday night at Trident Hospital.

The State Law Enforcement Division is investigating the shooting. An agency spokesman could not confirm what kind of weapon was fired at the officer who was hit.

John Blackmon, president of the Tri-County Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 3, said after visiting Pavlischek that the lawman was lucky to walk out of the hospital Monday night. The officer will heal, Blackmon said, but the true test is yet to come.

“When you come that close to not seeing your family again, it affects your mindset,” he said. “It’s a traumatic experience to be that close to death. But he’s a strong fellow, and I expect him to return to work. He’ll just hug that wife a little tighter.”

According to incident reports from North Charleston police, officers had been called to Waltham Road twice after Patterson assaulted the woman with whom he was living. The first time, neighbors reported seeing him outside the house kicking and hitting her. The second time, she ran to a neighbor’s house after Patterson hit her in the stomach when she tried to stop him from strangling her dog.

Patterson was arrested in December in Berkeley County when he shoved another woman into some furniture and threatened to kill her with a knife, kill her brother and burn down the house, according to the incident report from the Sheriff’s Office.

James Banks of Goose Creek is her brother. He said he has known Patterson since high school and persuaded his sister to drop him after he attacked her.

“He’s got a long trail of beating women,” Banks said. “It bothers me that the justice system just kept letting him out of jail.”

Andrew Knapp contributed to this story. Reach Dave Munday at 843-937-5553.