Former Summerville officer who shot man at Chick-fil-A indicted on attempted kidnapping, murder charges

SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCBD) – The former Summerville Police officer accused of shooting and killing a man in a Chick-fil-A parking lot has been indicted by a Berkeley County Grand Jury. 

Anthony DeLustro is accused of attempting to kidnap Michael O’Neal and shooting and killing him on March 20 while he was off-duty. 

A murder charge carries a minimum penalty of 30 years in prison and a maximum of life in prison if convicted. An attempted kidnapping charge comes with a penalty of up to 30 years in prison if convicted. 

Shortly after the shooting, Summerville Police Chief Doug Wright requested the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) investigate this case. 

“As a lawyer and prosecutor, I am subject to special rules limiting my ability to make public comments about pending cases and defendants in criminal matters. For these reasons, my office cannot comment on the merits of this case. By law, the Defendant is presumed innocent unless and until he is proven guilty. My role is to hold accountable those who harm others unlawfully, regardless of their profession. This office does not dictate or comment upon police policy, training, or procedure. I am deeply concerned, however, when those who are sworn to serve and protect violate the public’s trust, whether or not they are acting “in the line of duty,” Ninth Circuit Solicitor Scarlett Wilson said. 

SLED charged DeLustro with murder for the killing of the North Carolina man after the completion of their investigation. Documents released by the agency say DeLustro confronted O’Neal, and an altercation ensued between the pair. 

“When this news broke yesterday morning, when I got the phone call and I met with SLED. We made the determination to terminate Mr. DeLustro. That is a very serious thing and it has an impact not just on law enforcement at my agency, but it has an impact and ramifications for law enforcement officers all over the Lowcountry and the state, as well as the country,” Chief Wright said after the charged was announced.

Witnesses told authorities that DeLustro was the aggressor and said that after the two exited their vehicles, the victim asked the off-duty officer, “Do you want to do this?” several times, to which DeLustro replied, “Come on, you f*****g f****t.” Punches and kicks were then exchanged between the two.

Several onlookers tried to break up the altercation, with a witness physically restraining DeLustro.

At one point during the situation, bystanders said DeLustro told O’Neal he was under arrest, pulling his police credential from his pocket. Later, according to witness statements, O’Neal tried to leave and returned to his vehicle,. 

During this time, the witness restraining DeLustro heard him say that he would shoot O’Neal if he left. DeLustro broke free, grabbed his gun, and jumped into O’Neal’s vehicle. 

O’Neal tried to drive away, but DeLustro, who was partially seated in the car, fired a single shot, killing O’Neal. 

Affidavits show that DeLustro acknowledged that he knew O’Neal was attempting to leave the area and intended to stop him. He also admitted he never saw the victim with a firearm or another weapon nor ever threatened to use a weapon of any kind.

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Author: Jameson Moyer