A Greenville County Sheriff’s deputy who shot a homeowner in Simpsonville through his front window in June last month was the exact same officer involved in at least one other fatal shooting, according to records from the State Law Enforcement Division.
Initially, the sheriff’s office refused to identify the deputy.
But the reasons for that are now apparent.
Local outlet, the Greenville News identified the deputy as Kevin Azzara after sending a letter to the state Attorney Generals’s Office.
The letter indicated Azzara was placed on administrative leave on June 14 after shooting Dick Tench, who locals described as a patriotic supporter of law enforcement.
We were unable to locate a photo of Officer Azzara on the department’s website.
But we did find several of him on his Facebook page, which remains active.
In 2017, Azzira fatally shot a Simpsonville man after responding a call about a domestic disturbance, according to police reports.
But Azzara obviously lied in his police report about why he shot Tench, so it’s possible the 2017 could also be a fabricated version.
A forensic report from the 2017 case shows at least one bullet recovered from the man’s body came from Azzara’s rifle.
Officer Azzara was one of five officers responding to that scene.
Ten rounds total were fired from his rifle in that incident, striking Joseph Inabinet, 50, who police say had a pellet gun outside of his home, threatening “suicide by cop” during a disturbance with his estranged wife, according to records.
In the story we reported about on Monday, footage shows Azzara firing into Tench’s front door after aiming a flashlight through his window and seeing Tench inside holding a firearm.
Tench calls out confused in the video.
He asks who and why he was shot.
“Call the cops,” he tells deputy Azzara.
“I am the cops,” he replies.
Michael Laubshire, the attorney hired by the South Carolina Fraternal Order of police said he is representing Azzara and would appreciate if the media would stop contacting him.
“Two things: One, I represent him. And two, stop contacting him,” Laubshire said in a telephone interview.
“We’re asking that nobody contact him.”
Read the full story we reported about on Monday, as well as watch the department’s highly edited and narrated version of the shooting, below.