Beaufort County Sheriff's Office

Beaufort County
Tuesday, January 08, 2002

Age: 35 years

Service: 12 years

Cause: Gunfire


Corporal A.J. Coursen and Lance Corporal Dana Tate were shot and killed after responding to a domestic disturbance call on Riley Road, in Burton, at approximately 4:00 pm.

A female had called the sheriff’s office and complained about her and her young child being held against their will by her boyfriend. While the deputies were investigating, they were shot by the boyfriend, who was armed with a semi-automatic rifle and was hiding inside a bedroom closet.

Deputy Coursen was killed, but Deputy Tate was able to shoot and wound the suspect before he died. The suspect was later taken into custody after a search. The man was sentenced to death in 2003.

Corporal Coursen had been employed with the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Department for one year, and had previous law enforcement experience. He is survived by his wife, son, and stepdaughter.