South Carolina police have released new information in the line-of-duty death of a sheriff’s deputy who was killed during a traffic stop earlier this week.
Two people have been arrested in connection with Tuesday’s incident in Greenville that resulted in the death of Greenville County Sheriff’s Sgt. Conley Jumper, the State Law Enforcement Division said Thursday.
Police charged 37-year-old Ray Kelly with murder; resisting arrest with a deadly weapon; assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature; weapons possession during a violent crime; and two counts each of drug trafficking and resisting arrest, according to a Thursday press release. They also charged Tornell Laureano, 24, with drug trafficking and weapons possession during a violent crime.
Jumper, a 52-year-old husband and father, was killed after officers stopped a vehicle on Interstate 85 on Tuesday afternoon, sheriff’s officials said. A struggle occurred after at least one of the occupants fought with officers.
When Jumper arrived on the scene, Kelly was “actively fighting and resisting deputies’ lawful arrest,” according to the affidavit for his arrest. He allegedly continued to resist and began “pushing, striking and pulling away” from the deputies, the document states.
“Kelly was able to get back into the vehicle as he continued to resist arrest by Deputy Jumper and intentionally drove the Nissan into heavy, oncoming highway traffic,” police said. “Kelly continued to drive away while dragging Deputy Jumper in front of oncoming vehicles, which proximately caused a collision resulting in Deputy Jumper’s death.”
The stopped car had collided with an 18-wheeler, authorities said, and a sheriff’s car that was arriving to provide assistance then struck the vehicle that officers had initially stopped.
Jumper was struck by the 18-wheeler and pinned between the truck and the Nissan that Kelly was driving. He could not be saved.
Meanwhile, two deputies and two civilians suffered non-fatal injuries.
Kelly and Laureano were found to have been in possession of a white substance that was believed to be crack cocaine and a gun, police said.
On Wednesday, Greenville County deputies escorted Jumper’s body from Greenville Memorial Hospital to a funeral home. Motorists stopped their cars for the procession, and people who live along the route came outside to watch.
Sheriff Hobart Lewis said Jumper served for more than 20 years and spent much of that time working with police dogs and building narcotics cases. Jumper also was part of Greenville County school district’s enforcement team, according to a statement from Superintendent Dr. Burke Royster.
“I was fortunate to know him and consider him a friend,” said Royster. “He was a man who lit up a room with an infectious smile, a great sense of humor, and a passion for service.”
Jumper’s funeral is scheduled to be held at an arena in Greenville on Friday morning.
*story by The New York Post