Bio & Incident Details
Tour: 5 years
Badge # 709
Incident Date: 11/20/1992
Weapon: Handgun; .22 caliber
Suspect: Sentenced to life
Corporal Mark Coates was shot and killed after stopping a car for weaving in traffic on I-95 near the Georgia border. During the traffic stop the suspect began to struggle with Corporal Coates and they both fell to the ground. The suspect fired a .22 caliber handgun into Corporal Coates' chest, but the round was stopped by his vest.
Corporal Coates was able to force the man off of him and return fire, striking the suspect five times in the chest with his .357 caliber revolver. As he retreated for cover and to radio for backup, the suspect fired another shot. The round struck Trooper Coates in the left armpit and traveled into his heart. The suspect survived the incident and was sentenced to life in prison.
Corporal Coates had been with the South Carolina Highway patrol for 5 years, and had previously served with the United States Marine Corps. He was survived by his wife, two sons, parents, sister and brother.