Trooper Jonathan Parker was killed when his patrol car was deliberately rammed during a vehicle pursuit of a robbery suspect near the intersection of Highway 527 and Highway 378.
The suspect had robbed a convenience store at a truck stop on I-95 earlier in the morning and was being pursued by Clarendon County deputies and Manning police officers.
Trooper Parker, who was ahead of the pursuit, had stopped his patrol car on the shoulder of the highway to wait for the pursuit to reach his location. It is believed that the suspect intentionally drove into the patrol car, causing it to burst into flames. The suspect attempted to flee on foot but was apprehended at the scene.
The suspect was convicted of murder and sentenced to life without parole. He was sentenced to an additional 25 years for failure to stop.
Trooper Parker had served with the South Carolina Highway Patrol for 5 years, and had previously served with the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office. He is survived by his wife, parents, brother, and four sisters.