Allendale man's family says shooting was personal vendetta

By: Stephanie Baker
By: Stephanie Baker

August 16, 2006

A family in Allendale County is outraged, wanting answers into what led police to kill a man they say was innocent.

The investigation continues into the death of an Allendale man shot by a police officer Friday night.

SLED is looking into the matter...but this is not the first time the Allendale Police Department has been under fire.

Two Allendale officials were under investigation last month for misbehaving on the job. One was a magistrate, the other a city police officer.

This shooting makes the third investigation.

An Allendale officer shot Michael Moore Friday in what he called a routine traffic stop.

The police say it was self-defense; 36-year-old Michael Moore's family says it was unnecessary force.

The Allendale Police Department the incident happened at the intersection of Highway 301 and Mayberry Street. Their statement says more was illegally stopped in the roadway.

Moore's uncle, Edward Gooding, says that's completely untrue. He says it was a personal issue.

"The whole thing escalated about some woman or something...and it was a personal vendetta," Gooding says.

The official release goes on to say Moore resisted arrest, leading to an assault. That caused the officer to fear for his life, and his gun was fired three times.

The police department says it was necessary.

Gooding disagrees.

He says the shooting happened right next to this car, when Moore's back was turned.

"If he needed backup, he could have called for backup before he shot my nephew."

These two very different stories explain why the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division is conducting its own investigation.

In shootings involving an officer, SLED sends their own officials to the scene, collects the evidence, and sends their findings to the state.

"The appropriate prosecutor makes a determination if the charges are to be brought and whether it was just a shooting or not," explains Chief Robert Stewart of SLED.

This investigation is one of three in Allendale in recent months.

July 15, a magistrate was arrested for misconduct in office. Then July 21, a police officer was arrested for misconduct in office and grand larceny.

After Friday's shooting, Gooding says his family plans to lay low.

"My mom tell us, 'Stay out of Allendale. Them police, they done kill my grandson...they may try to do something to you. So stay in the country'," he says.

Now, all Moore's family and the Allendale Police Department can do is wait until the investigation is complete.

SLED says they can't comment about the specifics of the investigation, but they say all the information will become public once the investigation is complete.

To view the Allendale Police Department's statement about the incident, click here.

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