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Off-Duty Officer Facing Murder Charges For Shooting And Killing Man During Fast Food Altercation

COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA — An off-duty police officer, Anthony DeLustro, was charged with murder following the fatal shooting of Michael O’Neal, a man attempting to leave a fast-food restaurant parking lot after a confrontation with DeLustro. The incident, which occurred in Summerville at a Chick-fil-A on March 20th, escalated when DeLustro entered the passenger seat of O’Neal’s car during an attempt to detain him. Despite O’Neal’s unarmed status and lack of threat, DeLustro, fearing he might be trapped by the moving car, shot him. Witnesses reported that DeLustro had previously threatened to shoot O’Neal if he tried to flee.

DeLustro, 64, a former New York City officer with a long police career, faces 30 years to life if convicted. During his bond hearing, where his request was denied, DeLustro highlighted his history of public service and personal challenges, including cancer from his time at Ground Zero and recent family losses. He emphasized his current role in helping raise his granddaughters.

The case has drawn attention due to the nature of the altercation, with state agents suggesting DeLustro provoked the fight by using offensive language and asserting his authority as an officer. His actions have led to significant scrutiny, with the prosecutor and O’Neal’s family urging a thorough investigation. The family expressed their respect for law enforcement but acknowledged the presence of misconduct within the profession. A future bond hearing for DeLustro is scheduled.

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