ORANGEBURG — Anthony Donnell Glover fired his handgun eight times at a state trooper during a Sunday afternoon traffic stop in May 2008, stopping only when his clip was empty.
Cpl. Quincy M. Brown survived the barrage of .45-caliber bullets as one of the rounds fractured his left forearm, another struck his bulletproof vest and a third shattered his police radio.
Brown said Thursday that it was only by the "grace of God" that he was still alive and back on duty with the S.C. Highway Patrol in Charleston after six months of rehabilitation.
"Anthony's intent was to kill me," Brown said. "There was no misunderstanding whatsoever. He didn't fire in the air. The only reason he stopped short is because he ran out of bullets."
Brown was in court Thursday as a circuit judge sentenced Glover to 17 years in prison after the 22-year-old Columbia man pleaded guilty to assault and battery with intent to kill and an unrelated possession of cocaine charge. Glover faced a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for the shooting. He must serve a minimum of 14 1/2 years.
Brown, a nine-year veteran of the Highway Patrol, said after the hearing that he was pleased with the sentence and that he hopes Glover is rehabilitated when he is released.
He said he's not the same man he was 14 months ago.
He's certainly not the same man he was before the May 4, 2008, shooting in Orangeburg County, Brown said. And he's not just talking about the 6-inch steel plate in his arm.
"It has taught me to appreciate the smaller things in life," Brown said.
He also hopes that it shows fellow officers that anything can happen. Brown said he always figured he was in more danger at 3 a.m., yet this shooting happened at 4:30 p.m. in a gas station parking lot at the intersection of U.S. Highways 301 and 176 with several people around.
Brown was talking to one of Glover's uncles after a traffic stop for speeding when Glover, who was in the back seat, started firing.
Glover told a judge last year that he fired because he was scared. Officials who viewed the videotape of the shooting said Brown was nothing but cordial to Glover and his uncles.
Brown said he returned fire, firing all 11 rounds from his gun. "It was a shootout," he said.
Glover ran after injuring the trooper but eventually was arrested, along with his uncles. Their charges are still pending.
First Circuit Solicitor David Pascoe praised Brown for his quick reaction.
"His courage and calm under the circumstances — literally under fire — was truly incredible," Pascoe said. "He exemplifies most of the men and women who protect us every day."
Pascoe said he was pleased with the sentence but believes it serves as an example that the state needs tougher laws to punish criminals who try to kill someone.
Glover faced a maximum sentence of 20 years, but someone who fires a gun at another person and misses could face 10 years.
"We've got to change our laws when it comes to attempted murder," he said.