Family of Travis Draper calls for SLED investigation

Southeast Region

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WSPA) – The family of Travis Draper, the man shot and killed on Highway 295 in Spartanburg County, has asked the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division to investigate the shooting.

Draper was found shot in his vehicle on August 5 on Southport Rd. (Hwy 295).

“It’s unimaginable not only that a man can be shot and killed and his killer can drive away without so much as a charge for leaving the scene of an accident,” said Bakari Sellers, an attorney representing Draper’s family. “On top of that, the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office won’t even identify the shooter or release the surveillance video.”

“No one was protecting Mr. Draper on August 5th. He died alone on Highway 295. But, for some reason, the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office is intent on protecting his killer,” Sellers’ statement continued.

The Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office and Seventh Judicial Circuit Solicitor Barry Barnette were notified of the family’s concerns by Sellers last week, who officially requested that the investigation and all relevant files be turned over to SLED including the surveillance video.

“This family deserves answers,” Sellers explained. “We’re going to make sure they get them.”

The Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office said in a press conference last month that video of a road rage shooting, which was later ruled self-defense, will not be released at the request of the victim’s family.

Sheriff Chuck Wright said that Draper and another driver got into an argument at a red light which then escalated into road rage.

The sheriff said surveillance video showed Draper chasing the other man through the intersection of South Avenue, passing and striking another uninvolved vehicle.

Wright said Draper then pulled a gun and pointed it at the other man who then shot Draper.

The other driver then left the scene and went to work, the sheriff said.

Draper’s family was allowed to view the video, along with Spartanburg County Council member Monier Abusaft.

“Like Sheriff Wright, he also wishes the other driver had remained at the scene and/or reported his involvement in the incident sooner,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement. “Councilman Abusaft concurs with both this agency and the Solicitor’s Office that the other driver was justified in his actions of defending himself.”

WSPA has reached out to the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office for a statement but has not yet received a response.

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