IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Rescuer acted in self-defense when he shot South Carolina man who fell into lake, prosecutors say

After he was rescued by a pair of pontoon boaters, Nathan Drew Morgan began assaulting his rescuers, officials said in a statement. Then, one of his rescuers shot him.
Lake Keowee in Oconee County, S.C.
Lake Keowee in Oconee County, S.C.Google Mpas

Charges will not be filed against a South Carolina man who fatally shot a Jet Skier he initially tried to rescue, prosecutors said.

Two Jet Skiers, a man and a woman, fell into Lake Keowee in Salem, South Carolina, on Tuesday and were rescued by another man and a woman on a pontoon boat, the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office said a news release.

Officials have not released the identities of the couple on the boat or the woman in the water. The dead Jet Skier is Nathan Drew Morgan, officials said in a statement.

The Jet Skiers were not wearing life jackets when they fell into the water, prompting the pair on the pontoon boat to step in and help, officials said. As the pair were rescued, the Jet Ski continued to drive in circles in the water.

Once he was on the pontoon boat, Morgan became agitated "and began assaulting the couple on the pontoon," the release says.

Officials said it is believed Morgan wanted to return to the watercraft, which continued driving through the water with no one aboard.

To de-escalate the situation, the rescued woman pushed Morgan into the water, authorities said. After he brought Morgan back onto the pontoon a second time, the man on the boat shot him, fearing for the safety of those onboard, they said.

Morgan died on the pontoon boat.

After they reviewed the evidence of the shooting, prosecutors ruled the shooting a case of self-defense and said they would not press charges.

“The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office is asking for continued prayer for the family of Nathan Drew Morgan,” officials said in the statement.

The statement said all parties have been notified of the decision not to move forward with charges.