SLED investigating officer involved shooting

Agents of the S.C. Law Enforcement Division are investigating an incident from September 5 in which shots were fired during a confrontation between a man and deputy from Lexington County Sheriff’s Department who was responding to a domestic violence call.
The deputy was injured and taken to the hospital with what was later determined to be non-life-threatening injuries.

Following the exchange of gunfire, the suspect retreated into his home with his firearm and a multi-hour standoff with law enforcement ensued. The suspect ultimately surrendered to law enforcement and was taken into custody. No physical injuries were reported on the suspect but he was taken to a local hospital for a precautionary measure.

The suspect has been identified as Mark Louis Cote, 70, of Lexington County.

SLED conducts law enforcement officer involved shooting (OIS) investigations at the request of the agency involved in the incident. When requested to investigate an OIS, SLED’s goal is to conduct a thorough, independent criminal investigation as timely as is possible under the circumstances. SLED investigators will conduct interviews with all potential witnesses in this matter, including the involved officers and the individual in question. Further, SLED will collect all relevant evidence and will forensically test such evidence as needed.

Information gathered in the SLED investigation of the incident will be summarized in a case file report to be submitted to prosecutors.

The incident in Lexington County was the 30th officer-involved shooting in South Carolina in 2020 and second this year involving Lexington County Sheriff’s Department. In 2019, there was 45 officer-involved shootings in South Carolina; two involved the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department.