Good Samaritan who shot drowning man he rescued from lake will not face charges

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A man who shot and killed the man he was rescuing has avoided facing charges, in a twist to a bizarre story that unfolded in South Carolina.

The would-be rescuer, who remains unidentified, claimed self-defense against Nathan Morgan, 29, whom he was attempting to rescue, at least in the beginning, reported WBTW-TV.

Morgan and an unidentified woman had been jet-skiing on Lake Keowee last Tuesday when the two had reportedly fallen off their jet skis while not wearing any life jackets. The pair allegedly appeared to be very distressed and in need of help, as the would-be rescuer and his wife steered their pontoon boat over to try to give assistance and the riderless jet skis continued to spin in circles in the lake.

However, Morgan allegedly became strangely belligerent and violent when the rescuers attempted to drag him out of the water to safety. There was a tussle, and the woman who was with Morgan eventually shoved Morgan back into the water. The three attempted to help Morgan back into the boat a second time but, according to Oconee County Sheriff’s Office, there was a further confrontation, leading to the rescuer saying he was in fear for the safety of himself and his wife, prompting him to shoot Morgan.


(Video: WYFF)

According to the Oconee Counter Coroner’s Office, Morgan was indeed shot from the front, into the chest. There was also allegedly some kind of argument between Morgan and the woman he was with prior to losing control of their jet skis and falling into the water.

Plenty of people have expressed their surprise at such a bizarre case, especially those living near Lake Keowee:

“Certainly have never seen anything like that or heard anything like that. That’s very surprising, especially the area it was in. That’s crazy. Definitely unexpected out here, for sure,” local resident Brandon Thomas told WSPA-TV.


(Video: WSPA)

After reviewing the evidence, the 10th Circuit Solicitor’s Office said that they had come to the conclusion that the unidentified man had indeed acted in self-defense, and there was insufficient evidence to justify attempting to press any charges against him, after an initial homicide investigation.

There did not appear to be any prior connection between the rescuer and Morgan, and while the woman being rescued wasn’t available for comment, it can be presumed from the lack of charges that her statement to authorities corroborated the self-defense claim.

On Twitter, several users captured what seemed to be the common reaction to the strange affair:

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