Cop’s Son Killed by Off-Duty Officer Outside Chick-fil-A

A seasoned law enforcement officer from Summerville, South Carolina, has been charged with murder and suspended from duty following the fatal off-duty shooting of a North Carolina police officer’s son. The incident occurred outside a Chick-fil-A restaurant in South Carolina. The accused, Officer Anthony DeLustro, 64, pleaded for leniency during his court appearance on Wednesday, the same day the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) issued a warrant for his arrest in connection with the death of 39-year-old Michael O’Neal.

According to investigators, the fatal incident unfolded on March 20 in the parking lot of the Chick-fil-A on North Main Street in Summerville. Both DeLustro and O’Neal exited their vehicles, engaged in a verbal altercation, and subsequently engaged in a physical fight. Witnesses identified DeLustro as the primary instigator of the conflict.

The warrant issued by SLED detailed that during the altercation, DeLustro allegedly taunted O’Neal with derogatory language. The fight escalated to the point where DeLustro claimed he was arresting O’Neal. When O’Neal attempted to disengage from the fight and leave in his car, DeLustro allegedly threatened to shoot him, despite his wife’s attempts to restrain him.

The warrant further stated that DeLustro entered O’Neal’s vehicle while armed with his handgun. When O’Neal tried to drive away, DeLustro, still partially seated in the passenger’s seat, opened fire. DeLustro’s subsequent explanations for his actions, including claims of fearing for his and the community’s safety, were not supported by eyewitness accounts or video evidence.

During his court appearance, DeLustro made a plea for mercy, citing his 35-year career in law enforcement and personal hardships, including surviving cancer he claimed to have contracted from responding to the 9/11 attacks and the recent loss of his handicapped daughter. He also mentioned his responsibility for his two granddaughters, aged 13 and 10.

Despite his plea, DeLustro was denied bond and remains in custody at the Berkeley County Detention Center. Meanwhile, O’Neal’s family has launched a GoFundMe campaign, expressing their devastation over his “untimely and violent death”. They revealed that O’Neal’s father served as a police officer in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, for over 30 years. The family is awaiting the results of SLED’s thorough investigation into the incident.