Police officer shot, protected by vest SWAT team, SLED, deputies swarm scene in North Charleston on Waltham Road

A North Charleston police officer was shot while responding to a call Monday afternoon, but a vest kept the bullet from causing serious injury.

It happened just before 5 p.m. on Waltham Road, a neighborhood off Greenridge Road with neat brick houses, well-kept yards, trees blooming along the curb and teens outside shooting off July Fourth firecrackers.

Deputy Chief David Cheatle identified the officer as Wayne Pavlischek. Cheatle said Pavlischek has been with the department for three years.

“The officer was struck in the right side abdomen area — but thankfully the vest did its job and stopped the round,” he said.

Police released few details about what happened, including why officers were there or what led up to the shooting. Police tape kept observers from seeing the actual crime scene.

Members of the SWAT team were seen leaving the area with full body armor and rifles in hand. Berkeley County and Charleston County deputies also were on scene to assist.

The State Law Enforcement Division arrived on scene to investigate. Cheatle referred all further questions to SLED.

A SLED spokesman was on leave Monday, according to an automated response to an email.

Reach Dave Munday at 843-937-5553.