You are the owner of this article.
You have permission to edit this article.
top story

$750K settlement reached in case of SC deputy who shot 911 caller mistaken for burglar

  • Updated
Attorney announces January plans to file civil suit in case of Hollywood man shot by deputy (copy)

Bryant Heyward (front), along his mother Inez and lawyer Justin Bamberg, stand outside Heyward's home on Scott White Road in Hollywood, where Heyward was paralyzed by a deputy's bullet in May 2015. File/Staff

A Hollywood man left paralyzed by a deputy's bullet after he was mistaken for a burglar has settled his lawsuit against the Charleston County Sheriff's Office for $750,000.

More than four years after the May 7, 2015, shooting, Bryant Heyward received a payout from the S.C. Insurance Reserve Fund, said Justin Bamberg, his attorney.

A federal lawsuit against the Sheriff's Office, multiple deputies and others was dismissed on May 28, court records show. 

Bryant had originally asked for $25 million, the amount his medical treatment could cost over the course of his life. He can't feed or bathe himself and has developed bed sores and diabetes.

"We are pleased to have finally concluded what has been a traumatic part of Bryant's life," Bamberg said. "With no footage of the shooting, certain factual disputes created a proverbial he-said-he-said situation. However, nothing changes the fact that Bryant was an innocent homeowner shot in a tragic turn of events and his life will never be the same because of it."

Heyward lived on Scott White Road with his mother and brother, but was alone on that day in 2015 when gunmen showed up. They likely wanted to steal his brother’s .40-caliber pistol, a suspect later told investigators.

He grabbed the gun. There was a shootout but no one was hurt. Heyward dialed 911 as he hid in a laundry room.

Deputy Keith Tyner and his partner arrived. Tyner saw a door fling open “and a black male appeared and pointed a handgun” at him, he said in his report.

The deputies didn't know the burglars had run or that Heyward had a gun.

Barely a second after commanding Heyward to show his hands, Tyner fired twice, rendering Heyward a quadriplegic.

"Wrong guy, sir," Heyward yelled when the bullet pierced his neck. "This is my house."

In 2018, the S.C. Attorney General's Office determined that Tyner "acted appropriately" when he shot Heyward and declined to press charges against the deputies. 

The incident did lead to changes.

After the shooting, county dispatchers fielding reports of home invasions started asking 911 callers if they have a gun.

"This case is a prime example of the importance of body cameras in our state as well as how the government is unnecessarily shielded from accountability under the S.C. Tort Claims Act, a law which limits the exposure of government when tragic mistakes are made resulting in serious injury to citizens," Bamberg said Friday. 

Sign up for our daily newsletter

Get the best of The Post and Courier, handpicked and delivered to your inbox every morning.

Reach Gregory Yee at 843-937-5908. Follow him on Twitter @GregoryYYee.

Gregory Yee covers breaking news and public safety. He's a native Angeleno and previously covered crime and courts for the Press-Telegram in Long Beach, CA. He studied journalism and Spanish literature at the University of California, Irvine.

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.


Breaking News

Columbia Breaking News

Greenville Breaking News

Myrtle Beach Breaking News

Aiken Breaking News