W. Ashley man killed by N. Charleston officer after deputy injured

Charleston County Sheriff’s Office, Fire and EMS were on the scene of a shooting where an officer also was injured in West Ashley.

A West Ashley man with a long criminal history died Thursday after being shot by a North Charleston police officer following an attack in which a deputy was cut on the face and hand.

James Anthony Cooper, 43, died about midnight, according to Charleston County Coroner Rae Wooten. Cooper’s wife also confirmed the death in a message posted on Facebook.

Authorities were serving a warrant for a charge of second-degree burglary on Cooper just before 9 p.m. Wednesday. Three North Charleston officers and a Charleston County deputy entered the home he was at on Dartmouth Drive after Cooper’s wife indicated he was inside.

Authorities said when they encountered Cooper on the second floor of the home, he ran at the deputy with a knife or another sharp object and swung at him, but the deputy deflected the attack.

He suffered a minor cut to his cheek and a defensive wound to his thumb, Charleston County Sheriff Al Cannon said at a news conference outside the home just after the incident.

The deputy, identified in an incident report released Thursday as Christopher J. Schwerin, was also knocked down and a North Charleston officer shot Cooper in the abdomen.

Cooper was taken to Medical University Hospital, where he later died. The deputy was treated at the scene.

Schwerin, 44, has been with the Sheriff’s Office since October 1993, according to spokesman Maj. Eric Watson.

The North Charleston officer who shot Cooper was identified as Patrolman 1st Class Sam Southers, who has been with the department since May 2008. He is currently on paid administrative duty, according to spokesman Spencer Pryor.

The State Law Enforcement Division is investigating the officer-involved shooting.

Cooper had an arrest history dating to 1989 and served time in prison.

He had been convicted of second-degree burglary 16 times and third-degree burglary two times, both felonies, according to SLED records. He also had been convicted on charges of driving under a suspended license, unlawful carrying of a weapon, giving false information to police, making or possessing “implements capable of being used in crime” and reckless driving.

The burglary for which the Sheriff’s Office had a warrant happened around April 22 at a day spa on Dorchester Road. Cooper’s fingerprints were found at the business, according to Cannon.

Cleve O’Quinn contributed to this report. Reach Melissa Boughton at 937-5594 or at Twitter.com/mboughton.