Man Fatally Shot by Spartanburg Methodist College Campus Safety Officer
The officer attempted to arrest a man who was driving the wrong way down a one-way street when an altercation ensued, authorities said.
SAXON, S.C. — A Spartanburg Methodist College (SMC) campus safety officer fatally shot a man during an attempted arrest in the early morning hours of New Year’s Day.
According to a news release from the South Carolina Law Enforcement Agency (SLED), the armed SMC officer pulled over a white Ford F-150 driving the wrong way on a one-way street on campus, GoUpstate reports. The officer attempted to arrest the man, identified as 48-year-old Victor Figueroa Roblero, but a physical altercation ensued and the officer shot him.
Roblero was pronounced dead on the scene around 1:05 a.m. His identity wasn’t released for several days because authorities had difficulty locating his next-of-kin. The officer received medical treatment at a hospital for injuries sustained during the altercation, SLED said. The Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office and Spartanburg Police Department assisted in the response.
The campus was closed for winter break during the incident and no students were on campus, said SMC spokesperson Jeremy Handel. The school is private a two-year junior college with around 1,000 students.
During a 2015 incident, another SMC campus safety officer fatally shot a man who allegedly hit him with a car while trying to flee, according to CNN. The officer was investigating reports of a car break-in behind a campus dormitory when he encountered two suspects. One of the suspects was apprehended shortly after but the second got into a vehicle and struck the officer while trying to drive off.
SMC’s campus safety department consists of SLED-certified officers as well as Class 1 Police Officers who have completed basic law enforcement training with the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy.
In a similar Sept. 2021 incident in California, Long Beach Unified School District (LBUSD) school safety officer Eddie Gonzalez fatally shot 18-year-old Mona Rodriguez following an altercation between her and a 15-year-old girl about a block from the school. After the fight was broken up, Rodriguez jumped in the passenger seat of a vehicle driven by her boyfriend. As it sped away, Gonzalez fired two shots, striking Rodriguez, who was left brain-dead and taken off life support a week later.
Gonzalez was fired by the district for violating its use-of-force policy which states officers shall not fire at a fleeing person, shall not fire at a moving vehicle, and shall not fire through a vehicle window unless circumstances clearly warrant the use of a firearm as a final means of defense.
The 18-year-old victim’s family settled with the school district for $13 million in April 2023. Gonzalez was charged with murder. He pleaded not guilty and posted bond in July 2022.
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