Trooper Mark Hunter Coates

Trooper Mark Hunter Coates

South Carolina Highway Patrol, South Carolina

End of Watch Friday, November 20, 1992

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Mark Hunter Coates

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 subject began to struggle with Corporal Coates, and they both fell to the ground. The man 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 him five times in the chest with his .357 caliber revolver. As he retreated for cover and to radio for backup, the man fired another shot. The round struck Trooper Coates in the left armpit and traveled into his heart.

The man survived the incident and was sentenced to life in prison. He was denied parole in 2022 and will be eligible for parole in 2024.

Corporal Coates was a U.S. Marine Corps veteran and had served with the South Carolina Highway Patrol for five years. He was survived by his wife, two sons, two stepdaughters, parents, sister, and brother.

The Mark H. Coates Highway is a one-mile portion of Interstate 95 located in Jasper County near Hardeeville and extends one-half mile on both sides of mile marker 7.


  • Age 31
  • Tour 5 years
  • Badge 709
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun; .22 caliber
  • Offender Sentenced to life

traffic stop

Most Recent Reflection

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I was very privileged for mark to be a friend before I became a cop. He was a mentor and one of the few that gave advice without wanting anything in return. He was one of the good ones. He was the big brother I never had. I named my first child after him- Hunter O’Neil…he was a true family man and my son has lived up to his name. I’m grateful for the knowledge he gave me and the friendship. God blessed me to know Mark. I can’t express my gratitude in knowing a good person without the sorrow of losing one. The world would be a better place with Coates. Sending my love to all the family and friends ❤️

Jessie prince

December 15, 2023

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