Injuries 'more substantial' for deputy from Travelers Rest shot in head, sheriff's office says

GREENVILLE, S.C. — A Greenville County deputy from Travelers Rest who was shot last week was more severely injured than originally thought.

Deputy Dave Dempsey was shot in the head on Dec. 10 while responding to a call at a Taylors apartment complex. (Read more about the incident on here.)

Sheriff's Office update (12.15, 4:30 p.m.):

"Upon further examination by the surgeons, the injuries sustained were more substantial than initially thought. The round penetrated his skin fracturing his skull then it ricocheted creating a secondary wound upon exit. Dave underwent many hours of surgery, and doctors had to remove a part of his skull to allow room for his brain to swell. Dave was sedated for approximately 24 hours and was on a ventilator and feeding tube for four days. He is still in critical but stable condition and as you can imagine, he has a long road of recovery ahead of him and will undergo additional surgery to repair his skull."

A fundraising account with a goal of $20K for medical expenses has been set up at

"Worker’s Comp will cover his immediate medical expenses but, with such a serious injury, we know he could need long-term physical therapy or other medical attention," the page reads.

The Sheriff’s Office has also partnered with Radiant Church to accept donations for Dempsey and his family. Donations can be dropped off at the Sheriff’s Office Northern Area Command Office, located at 4900 Old Buncombe Road, or checks can be mailed to Radiant Church at P.O. Box 1148, Travelers Rest, SC 29690 made in honor of Deputy Dave Dempsey.

Dempsey began his law enforcement career with the Greenville City Police Department in January of 1985 and retired in June of 2012 after 27 years of dedicated service. After less than a month of retirement, he started as a deputy with the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office.

"Dave has dedicated the majority of his life to serving and protecting the citizens of Greenville County, which is exactly what he was doing during the early morning hours of Dec. 10 when he was shot in the head," Greeenville County Sheriff's Office Master Deputy Jonathan Smith said.