Lawsuit Filed Against York County Sheriff’s Office After Deputies Shot Man Nine Times During Welfare Check

YORK COUNTY, S.C. — A lawsuit has been filed against the York County Sheriff’s Office after deputies shot a man nine times while his mother was standing just feet away during a welfare check in 2021. The man, Trevor Mullinax, survived the shooting.

Click HERE to read the entire lawsuit.

The shooting happened on May 7, 2021 off Highway 324 on property owned by Mullinax’s family, according to the lawsuit. The lawsuit claims deputies fired nearly 50 bullets at the vehicle.

Body cam footage shows deputies firing through the front windshield of Mullinax’s Ford F-150 while his mother was talking to him through the driver’s side window. Mullinax’s mother, Tammy Beason, is also named as a plaintiff in the lawsuit.

Mullinax’s attorney says he was suffering severe emotional distress stemming from personal relationship issues and was contemplating suicide when the shooting took place. A 911 call sent deputies to the property for a wellness check. The caller told dispatchers that Mullinax was suicidal, according to the lawsuit.

Deputies say Mullinax pointed a shotgun at them shortly after they arrived on the scene. Attornies for Mullinax say a hunting shotgun was in the truck but contest that Mullinax pointed it at deputies. Mullinax was shot nine times and had gunshot wounds in his hands and the back of the head, according to the lawsuit. Beason was not physically injured in the shooting but was handcuffed and detained while deputies investigated, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit states Mullinax and Beason are suing over gross negligence, false imprisonment, malicious prosecution, defamation, barratry, abuse of process, civil conspiracy, civil assault and battery, and intentional infliction of emotional distress/outrage.

An independent investigation by SLED cleared the deputies of any wrongdoing. The York County Sheriff’s Office released the following statement:

As of the publication of this statement, the York County Sheriff’s Office has not been served with a lawsuit filed by Trevor Mullinax related to an officer involved shooting on May 7, 2021. The YCSO cannot respond to any specific allegations until we and outside council have had an opportunity to thoroughly review the document in its entirety.

This matter was investigated independently by the S.C. State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) and all of the deputies involved were cleared of any wrongdoing by the 16th Circuit Solicitor’s Office. The only individual that was found to have engaged in wrongdoing on May 7, 2021 was Trevor Mullinax and that was why he was charged criminally with point and presenting a firearm (Warrant No. 2021A4610100429) by SLED as a result of this incident.

“I tell all of my deputies that their goal is to serve the citizens of York County and then to go home safely to their families. Mr. Mullinax chose to put these men in danger by pulling a shotgun. These deputies responded appropriately to the threat as they were trained to do. Had Mr. Mullinax made different choices that day, deputies would not have been required to use force,” said Sheriff Kevin Tolson. “Our ultimate goal is to ensure the safety of the public and our deputies. Regardless of the outcome of this lawsuit, we want to reassure our residents that we will continue to provide high quality and professional law enforcement service.”

Three of the four deputies involved in this incident are still serving the community as YCSO deputies. One deputy voluntarily left the agency in April 2022 to take a job in the private sector.

The Sheriff’s Office looks forward to vigorously defending against these allegations in the appropriate legal forum.