Ex-NYPD Cop Faces Murder Charge in SC Chick-fil-A Shooting

Off-Duty Officer Accused of Killing Unarmed Man

A former New York City police officer, Anthony DeLustro, is facing murder charges in South Carolina after allegedly shooting and killing an unarmed man following an altercation at a Chick-fil-A.

Deadly Encounter at Fast Food Restaurant

On March 20th, DeLustro, now an officer with the Summerville Police Department, got into a physical fight with 39-year-old Michael O’Neal in the restaurant’s parking lot. The details leading to the fight remain unclear.

Witness Accounts Paint DeLustro as Aggressor

Witnesses interviewed by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) claim DeLustro initiated the confrontation and used a homophobic slur against O’Neal. The fight escalated, but O’Neal reportedly attempted to de-escalate by returning to his car and attempting to leave.

DeLustro Accused of Pursuing O’Neal

Despite O’Neal’s attempts to leave, DeLustro allegedly pursued him. According to an affidavit, DeLustro threatened to shoot O’Neal if he left the scene. Additionally, a bystander reported that DeLustro’s wife tried to physically prevent O’Neal from driving away.

Shooting in Moving Vehicle

DeLustro then entered the passenger seat of O’Neal’s car while still armed with his service weapon. As O’Neal drove away in an attempt to escape, DeLustro allegedly fired a single shot, fatally wounding him.

Self-Defense Claims Disputed

DeLustro claimed self-defense, stating he feared for his safety and that of his wife. However, SLED investigators determined these claims were unsubstantiated. They noted that DeLustro admitted O’Neal never displayed a weapon or threatened violence and that DeLustro re-engaged with O’Neal after the fight had ended.

Police Take Action

Following the shooting, the Summerville Police Department placed DeLustro on administrative leave and launched an investigation. After SLED’s findings, DeLustro was officially fired and charged with murder.

Past Misconduct Allegations

Online records reveal that during his time with the NYPD (1980-2003), DeLustro faced three public complaints of misconduct, two related to use of force. Although both complaints were dismissed, a third investigation concerning an alleged unnecessary traffic stop remained incomplete when DeLustro transferred to South Carolina.

This incident raises serious questions about DeLustro’s actions and the use of deadly force. The case is ongoing, and DeLustro awaits trial.