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"Disturbing" Dashcam Video Shows South Carolina Trooper Shooting Unarmed Man

S.C. Highway Patrol Trooper Sean Groubert opened fire during a stop for a seat belt violation. He was arrested Wednesday and faces up to 20 years in prison.

Posted on September 25, 2014, at 12:57 a.m. ET

Richland County Detention Center

Sean Groubert

South Carolina Highway Patrol Trooper Sean Groubert opened fire on an unarmed man during a routine traffic stop earlier this month.

Groubert, 31, pulled over Levar Jones, 35, for a seat belt violation on Sept. 4.

Dashcam video of the incident released Wednesday shows Groubert's patrol car pulling up behind Jones' vehicle at a gas station. Jones gets out of the vehicle and Groubert asks for his license.

Then, as Jones reaches back in his vehicle, Groubert opens fire.

The State Newspaper / Via

Groubert fired at least three shots while yelling at Jones to "get on the ground." Jones quickly collapsed on the ground with his hands up. In the video, he can be heard moaning in pain and asking why Groubert shot him.

Jones was not armed or acting aggressively and The State described the shooting as happening "apparently without provocation."

Authorities called the shooting "disturbing," then fired Groubert.

The South Carolina Department of Public Safety fired Groubert last week, WLTX reported. In a news release, DPS seemed baffled by the shooting: "For reasons that only Groubert can articulate at this point, he fired his service weapon multiple times while yelling repeatedly for Mr. Jones to 'get out of the car.'"

DPS Director Leroy Smith added that the case was "disturbing."

South Carolina Department of Public Safety / Via

Groubert was arrested Wednesday and could go to prison for 20 years.

Prosecutors charged Groubert with assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature. The maximum penalty for the charges is 20 years in prison.

Groubert's bond was set at $75,000.

Jones survived and is recovering.

Jones was struck in the hip, The Star reported. He was initially hospitalized, but has since been released.

Watch the dashcam video here:

View this video on YouTube

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.