Deputy Sarah Merriman ’13 praised for bravery in standoff with armed man

portrait in uniform

A Stetson alumna is receiving praise for her work as a deputy in Richland County, South Carolina, after she was able to de-escalate a situation involving a man with a gun, without ever pulling her weapon.

“I thought this could take a really bad turn, and I was thinking that the worst-case scenario that you never want to happen could possibly happen,” Deputy Sarah Merriman ’13 told WIS News Channel 10.

This all happened on Nov. 19, after Merriman was dispatched to a home for a report of a man who had assaulted his wife and mother-in-law and pulled a gun.

screenshot from TV news interview
Deputy Sarah Merriman ’13

“I couldn’t see the gun until I got to the front of my car, and that’s when our training tells us when we see a weapon, we immediately want to get that weapon away from that person, which is why I began the verbal command,” said Merriman.

In the body camera footage, you can hear Merriman asking the man to put down the long gun by his side, and the man responds asking her to shoot him. The deputy’s hands remain in the air as she tells him she is there to help.

Read the full story and watch the body cam video on WIS News 10.

Merriman majored in Communication and Media Studies at Stetson and was an active student leader on campus.

“I chose Stetson because I felt at home and in love with the campus from the first moment I visited,” she once said on the university’s website, thanking Stetson for the scholarships that she received.

“My experience at Stetson interning for three years with Student Development and Campus Vibrancy and being part of the F.O.C.U.S. Orientation staff really showed me how much I enjoy helping others realize their dreams. I’ve also served as Greenfeather director, a student ambassador, Reporter contributor and chair of the Family and Friends Weekend committee.”

-Stetson Today and WIS News 10