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South Carolina police shooting survivor says deputies opened fire on him and his mother ‘immediately’

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The deputies fired 50 times at close range and when it was over the deafening roar was replaced by Beason’s piercing screams, the video shows.

“In utter shock, Plaintiff Beason dove backwards while yelling in horror as bullets from the Sheriff’s deputies hit the vehicle narrowly missing her,” the suit states.

Now, two years after the May 7, 2021, confrontation with the York County Sherriff’s Office deputies, the mother and son are suing York County and the department for unspecified damages.

Mullinax, 29, lives in Rock Hill, South Carolina, records show. Those same records also indicate he’s been arrested for breaking and entering and burglary and for misdemeanor domestic violence. His mother is 48 and also lives in Rock Hill.

Trevor Mullinax in the hospital.Courtesy Tammy Beason

In the court papers filed May 5 in the local Court of Common Pleas, Mullinax does not deny he was in a bad way before the deputies arrived and the bullets began flying. He says he was sitting in his pickup truck, which was parked on his family’s property, and his mother was trying to console him.

“Mullinax was suffering severe emotional distress stemming from personal relationship issues and was contemplating suicide,” the papers state.

Mullinax had a shotgun in the truck, but “at no point did he point the weapon at himself” or any other person, according to the complaint.

In the meantime, a call was placed by either a friend or a family member to the sheriff’s department requesting a “wellness check” on Mullinax, the complaint states.

The dispatchers were provided with the cellphone numbers for both Mullinax and his mother.

Instead of calling the numbers, a team of deputies went to the property and, when they got there, Mullinax’s grandfather directed them to the back where his grandson was parked and talking to his mother, the papers state.

Mullinax's grandfather talking to a team of deputies.
Mullinax’s grandfather talking to a team of deputies.Obtained by NBC News

“Prior to arriving at the location on the property where Plaintiff Mullinax was still sitting inside his pickup truck, Sheriff’s deputies drew their firearms and were prepared to shoot Plaintiff Mullinax and exercise deadly force before they made verbal contact with him,” the court papers say.

When they got there, the video shows they began firing almost immediately.

Mullinax had his arms up and was complying with the deputies’ orders, his lawyers insisted.

“At no point prior to, during, or after Sheriff’s deputies began shooting did Plaintiff Mullinax raise, point, or otherwise move with a weapon in such a fashion as would authorize Sheriff’s deputies to use deadly force,” the complaint states.

Despite that, the papers state, “Sheriff’s deputies arrested and charged Plaintiff Mullinax with pointing and presenting a firearm at the deputies, which did not happen and was not true.”

The charges, the complaint states, were lodged to provide “cover” for “for the utter excessive use of deadly force exhibited by Sheriff’s deputies.”

Mullinax was hit nine times, including once in the back of the head, his lawyers said.

Beason, despite being directly beside the pickup truck, was not struck by the gunfire.

The victim's Tammy Beason.
The victim’s mother, Tammy Beason.Obtained by NBC News

There is no evidence Mullinax or his mother “committed a crime or attempted to hinder any officer on scene, interfere, or resist arrest,” the complaint states. “To the contrary, all available evidence indicated that Plaintiff was attempting to be compliant during the extremely short window of time immediately following the arrival of officers.”

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