Sheriff: Suspect's death was 'justifiable homicide'

(Chris O'Rourke/WCIV)

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- Charleston County Sheriff's Office officials held a press conference Thursday to discuss the shooting of an armed robbery suspect who was killed by a homeowner last Sunday.

Sheriff Al Cannon spoke at CCSO headquarters at 3 p.m. and was joined by Ninth Circuit Solicitor Scarlett Wilson.

Deputies responded to a home on Dunmeyer Hill Road last Sunday morning.{}

Charles Petit, the 76-year-old homeowner told deputies he was leaving his home and walking toward his car in his carport when 25-year-old Robert Deziel, of Summerville, approached him and tried to stun him with what he believed was a stun gun.

Officials said Petit struggled with Deziel and then shot the suspect three times with a handgun the homeowner was carrying.

Deziel was declared dead at the scene, officials said.

The Charleston County Coroner said the cause of death was a single gunshot wound to the chest.

A sheriff's office spokesman said that while it's not mentioned in the incident report, deputies did recover a stun gun from the scene.

During the press conference, Sheriff Al Cannon said the stun gun used by Deziel was a model that is made to look like a cell phone and that his death was a "justifiable homicide."

"Mr. Petit who suffered some injuries to indicate that were consistent with a struggle," he said. "Mr. Petit was at his home on his property and under state law because of that he's obviously allowed to have a firearm."

Solicitor Wilson said the Stand Your Ground law and Castle Doctrine all apply in this case and she believes it's clear the shooter was trying to defend himself.

Wilson added Petit could not identify the attacker because he was wearing some type of hoodie.

Investigators later showed him a picture and he was able to identify Deziel.