Video, calls detail chase, shooting

This still photo was taken from the dashboard video of the deputy's patrol car.

The 14-foot U-Haul traveled over and under the speed limit as it occasionally drifted from side to side on northbound U.S. Highway 17.

“He's going all over the road,” a caller to 911 had told a dispatcher at noon Sunday, according to a copy of the call.

Behind the truck, Deputy Kim Poirer turned on the camera in her cruiser and recorded the driving pattern. She followed the truck for 3 miles until she switched on her blue lights and siren.

The truck's turn signal blinked, but it continued northward another 4 miles, crossing the Santee River into Georgetown County and topping out at 65 mph.

Finally it turned onto Pole Yard Way, a dead-end dirt-covered road that leads to a public boat landing on the North Santee River.

Poirer drew her handgun as the driver got out.

“Let me see your hands!” Poirer yelled. “Let me see your hands!”

Clad in a white polo shirt, the bald-headed man pulled his right hand from a pocket. His arms dangled at his sides. He showed Poirer his palms. But he spun around and walked away toward the nearby scrub land. Poirer ran after him and out of her camera's view. Her radio went silent.

What happened next wasn't visible in a video that the Charleston County Sheriff's Office released Monday.

On the radio a supervisor asked if Poirer was all right. A dispatcher requested a status update.

The first indication that something had gone wrong came when a backup deputy arrived. He saw only the deputy's car — its siren still sounding — and the truck. He heard gunfire.

“We've got shots fired,” said a supervisor who arrived on the scene at about 12:27 p.m.

Other deputies indicated that they were speeding toward the location.

Maj. Jim Brady said Poirer had shocked the man several times with a Taser as he tried to wrest her firearm from her hands. She eventually broke free, but when the man reached into his pockets, Poirer shot him twice, Brady said.

“Suspect's been shot. Suspect's been shot,” Poirer told dispatchers. “I need (EMS) now.”

When Georgetown County deputies got there, the suspect was lying in a ditch. He was still breathing, but Poirer said he needed paramedics immediately.

“Oh, please God,” a man moaned in the background.

The man had suffered bullet wounds to an arm and his back. He was airlifted to Grand Strand Regional Medical Center in Myrtle Beach, where was recovering Monday.

Poirer asked for a police dog to sniff for items that the man might have thrown as he ran. The authorities have not said if they found anything.

Brady said that the man had an Oklahoma driver's license for 53-year-old James Henry Helms of West Wilshire Boulevard in Oklahoma City.

A database check of the license revealed no matches, according to the video. Nobody by that name and age has a criminal record in South Carolina or Oklahoma.

Once investigators confirm his identity, he will face charges of driving under the influence, first-degree assault, resisting arrest and failure to stop for blue lights.

The State Law Enforcement Division has the task of determining whether the shooting was justified. Poirer has been a Charleston County deputy since January 2011.

Reach Andrew Knapp at 937-5414 or