LANCASTER, S.C. — A pastor of a small church in Lancaster County has been identified as the armed gunman killed by deputies Thursday.
The coroner confirms the man shot as 60-year-old Darrell Morgan.
Deputies were called to Carolina Corner Store on Highway 521 near Harris Hill Road around 2 p.m.
The sheriff said an armed man inside of the business was "clearly a threat" to many customers inside at the time.
Paul Alford, tells NBC Charlotte that Morgan had recently separated with his wife of 40 years.
He said Morgan was devastated and felt betrayed having lost his wife to his best friend and neighbor.
"Of course he was angry for a while, he loved Julie still. But I want to know what really happened, because I talked to Darrell for a couple hours last night, he was heartbroken, but not vengeful in anyway," he said.
According to South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED), the agency now investigating the officer-involved shooting, Morgan followed his estranged wife into the Carolina Corner store with a gun.
An argument erupted, and the storeowner called 911 when Morgan allegedly took out his gun.
Authorities say the two responding deputies open-fired because Morgan made verbal threats and gestures with his hand-gun.
Many of his friends and family say they did not know Morgan owned a gun.
"From what Darrell told me, if he had a gun, it was for defense, because there had been some threats made back and forth," said Alford.
Morgan was a pastor at New Harvest Freewill Baptist Church on Old Camden Monroe Highway in Tradesville. His family says he's been in the ministry for 37 years, and has two sons.
Morgan's sister says her nephew was on the phone with Darrell in the store, attempting to calm him, and said he heard the sound of two gunshots.
The Sheriff Barry Faile in a brief new conference said he believes his deputies acted accordingly, following police practice and procedures.
SLED spokesperson was not aware of anyone else being injured during the shooting.
The two deputies are on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.
"Being as heartbroken as he was, you never know what their train of thought is, " said Alford.
"It would totally be out of Darrell's nature. Knowing Darrell, and the shape he was in, they did have to kill him," he said.