David “Whit” Oliver was riding his bike near a neighborhood park in South Carolina when police said he dialed 911 to report being harassed by someone.
That’s when dispatchers heard gunfire.
Oliver, 44, died on Mother’s Day after he was shot on Legacy Park Drive in Greenville following an “altercation” with an individual he knew, Greenville Police Chief Howie Thompson told reporters Sunday. The coroner’s office identified the suspected shooter as 62-year-old Jeffrey Mark Murray, the Greenville News reported.
“We believe that they did know each other because when we received the phone call from the complainant — the victim — he named the suspect,” Thompson said.
Murray fled the scene but was killed a few minutes later by two Greenville police officers when he got out of his car with a gun, officials said.
The two shootings started with a 911 call at 10:52 a.m. to report a disturbance. It was Oliver on the phone, Thompson said, and dispatchers heard gunfire in the background during the call. Several witnesses dialed 911 immediately after and described the suspected shooter, his car, the tag number and the direction he was last seen traveling, the chief said.
That information was relayed to responding officers, two of whom reportedly spotted Murray.
At 11 a.m. — eight minutes after Oliver called 911 — a field training officer and a recruit with the Greenville Police Department pulled Murray over outside a fire station about a mile away on Verdae Boulevard, Thompson said. Murray reportedly exited his car with a pistol and exchanged gunfire with police.
Thompson said his officers “returned fire” and administered first aid after Murray was shot. Both officers have been placed on administrative duty, which is protocol after an officer-involved shooting.
The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division confirmed in a news release Sunday that it is investigating the shooting.
“Officers were in the process of conducting a traffic stop of a vehicle believed to be connected to an earlier shooting when this shooting took place,” SLED said. “The armed man was shot and killed during the incident. No other injuries have been reported.”
Thompson said Greenville police detectives are investigating the shooting involving Oliver.
Oliver — an avid cyclist — was riding his bike about two blocks from his house when he was shot, the Greenville News reported. Police said multiple shell casings were found at the scene.
The police chief said the shooting happened next to Legacy Park where families were celebrating Mother’s Day. The 20-acre greenway inspired by Central Park in New York sits in a residential neighborhood with walking, jogging and bike paths, according to the city website.
“We are certainly very lucky that there wasn’t multiple people involved but this seemed to be a specific incident between these two individuals,” Thompson said. “There were no other people targeted around the park area.”
He said residents were familiar with the suspected shooter and that he may have been involved in “some previous incidents.” But Thompson said he didn’t know if law enforcement was familiar with the suspect.
“We know that there was an altercation because the victim was the first phone call we got,” he said.
A fundraiser set up to help Oliver’s wife and son said he was “killed in a tragic altercation with a man that harassed cyclists and anyone else that the man came across while walking in our neighborhood.” More than $11,000 had been donated by Monday afternoon.
“Whit was a light in the cycling community and not only brought fierce competition to the races but also a fierce love for the sport, his friends, and his family,” the cycling shop said.