SLED investigating fatal shooting of Fripp Island man

1 min read

By Mindy Lucas

South Carolina’s lead investigative agency has stepped in to look into the fatal shooting of an Fripp Island man involved in a confrontation with a security officer who was responding to a domestic disturbance call on the island.

The man, later identified by the Beaufort County Coroner’s Office as Thomas Steffner Jr., 52, of Fripp Island, “reportedly presented a firearm during the confrontation,” according to South Carolina’s State Law Enforcement Division (SLED).

Two officers with Fripp Island Security responded to the call on Tuesday, Oct. 20, at the request of the sheriff’s office, which also had deputies responding to the scene, according to a news release issued by SLED on Oct. 21.

The call came into the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office dispatch around 10:20 p.m., according to an advisory issued by the sheriff’s office. Deputies from the sheriff’s office arrived after the shooting and secured the scene.

Emergency Medical Services was called, but Steffner was pronounced dead on the scene, according to David Ott with the coroner’s office.

SLED was contacted to respond and investigate the incident.

Even though security officers are not certified law enforcement officers, SLED is proceeding with the investigation as an officer-involved shooting, the agency stated. It is the 42nd officer-involved shooting in South Carolina this year.

SLED is continuing to investigate.

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