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November 12, 2013

Miles incident takes bizarre twist

The Kenny Miles incident took a bizarre twist on Tuesday.

Shortly after Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott announced that, contrary to what he initially told officers, Miles shot himself eight days ago and would be charged with filing a false police report, the former South Carolina running back issued an apology through his attorney.

"Last week I made a big mistake by not being up front about how the shooting occurred," Miles said in a press release from Neal Lourie, an attorney with Lourie Law Firm in Columbia. "I was not involved in any criminal activity. However, I was scared and worried how my actions would be perceived. I only made matters worse by not telling the truth.

"I make no excuses for my behavior."

The long list of people Miles apologized to included Lott and the Richland County Sheriff's Department, the State Attorney General's office, former teammates and coaches, the USC community, family and friends and "anyone else that I've disappointed."

Miles told police after the incident on Nov. 5 that he had been shot in a robbery attempt. However, the next day, Lott said his preliminary investigation showed the shooting was not a robbery.

According to police reports, Miles was shot in the forearm around 1 p.m. at the Dutch Fork Business Park on Centrum Drive in Irmo.

Lott said Tuesday that ballistic evidence showed the bullet was fired from Miles' gun.

Initially, Richland County deputies said they believed robbery was the motive for the shooting, based on statements from Miles. However, Lott ruled out that possibility about 24 hours later.

USC team physician Dr. Jeffery Guy announced several hours after the incident that Miles sustained a soft tissue injury from the gunshot wound. Miles was hospitalized overnight in Columbia and released the next day.

Miles graduated in 2012 with a bachelor's degree in criminal justice and has been working since the summer for the South Carolina Attorney General's Office as a support clerk, where he works with community outreach and youth mentoring.

Miles rushed for 1,341 yards on 315 carries during his USC career, finishing as the 25th leading rusher in school history. He was the Gamecocks' leading rusher as a redshirt freshman in 2009 with 626 yards.

Miles realizes his mistake will require him to mend fences and rebuild bridges in the future.

"I appreciate the support and prayers of the Gamecock Nation," Miles said in the release. I want you to know that I do not take your support lightly or for granted. I only hope you will forgive me and allow me to earn your trust back over time."

Lott declined to speculate on why Miles shot himself, adding he hopes Miles will be required to reimburse the county for the resources utilized to investigate the false report.

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