A motorcycle rider who was fatally shot by an Aiken County sheriff’s deputy following a chase was not armed, the sheriff’s office said Monday.
Arthur C. Page II, a 58-year-old Aiken resident, was the man killed by the deputy, according to Aiken County Coroner Darryl Ables.
After the motorcycle he was pursuing crashed, the deputy opened fire in a confrontation with Page, the Aiken County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release.
Following Saturday’s incident, Aiken County Sheriff Michael Hunt asked the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division to lead the investigation into the shooting, according to the release.
The incident happened at about 1 a.m. Saturday, when the Aiken County deputy tried to pull over the driver of a Harley-Davidson motorcycle, later identified as Page, on East Pine Log Road near Trailwood Avenue, the sheriff’s office said. That’s about three miles from the center of Aiken.
Page sped away on the motorcycle and the deputy chased him, according to the sheriff’s office. Page sped down Whiskey Road toward the town of New Ellenton and turned on U.S. 278 toward Beech Island, the sheriff’s office said. The chase continued onto Interstate 520 and Interstate 20, the sheriff’s office said.
That route is at least 35 miles.
The chase ended when Page veered onto the side of I-20, lost control of the motorcycle and crashed in the grass near mile marker 11, the sheriff’s office said. That’s close to the exit for Graniteville.
Page made attempts to run away from the motorcycle at which point he fell, turned over appearing to be armed with a weapon, according to the sheriff’s office.
The deputy then opened fire, the sheriff’s office said. Page was shot at least once in the body and died at the scene, according to Ables.
The deputy was not hurt and no other injuries were reported, according to investigators.
After aid was render to Page, it was confirmed that what he pointed at the deputy was not a firearm, according to the sheriff’s office. Information on what Page pointed was not available.
The deputy involved in the shooting is Christopher Owens, and he has been with the Aiken County Sheriff’s Office since February 2021, according to the release. Owens is currently on paid administrative leave, the sheriff’s office said.
“The facts of this case are being vetted and investigated by SLED which included the actions of our deputy and that of the decedent,” Hunt said in the release. “We are fully cooperating and working on gathering all evidence that will to be turned over to SLED. As this case progresses, we are referring all questions about this independent and impartial investigation to SLED.”
Information gathered by SLED will be submitted to prosecutors.
The incident in Aiken County was the 14th shooting involving a law enforcement officer in South Carolina in 2022, and the third involving the Aiken County Sheriff’s Office this year, according to SLED.
In 2021, there were 40 shootings in South Carolina involving a law enforcement officer; with two involving the Aiken County Sheriff’s Office, SLED said.
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