SC deputies shoot and kill man, saying he fought officers

Mar 20, 2022, 4:15 PM | Updated: 5:53 pm

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A South Carolina sheriff is defending the fatal shooting of a Black man who advanced on officers with a wooden stake, saying deputies can’t be expected to sacrifice their lives in dangerous situations.

The remarks by Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott came Sunday amid an outcry over the Saturday shooting of Irvin D. Moorer Charley. The 34-year-old Moorer Charley was shot and killed in Columbia after deputies responded to a call about domestic violence.

“We can’t expect these deputies to go out here and be killed,” Lott told reporters. “They have to protect themselves. And that’s what this deputy did yesterday. He protected himself. He went home to his family last night. Unfortunately Mr. Charley didn’t. That’s a decision that he made.”

Critics say Moorer Charley was having a mental health crisis and that deputies were wrong to shoot him. But Lott told reporters Sunday that when Deputy John Anderson arrived at the family home, multiple people said Moorer Charley had injured them and said Moorer-Charley was inside with a knife.

Lott played a clip of body camera video where Anderson repeatedly yells at Moorer Charley to “Drop the weapon!” as Moorer Charley walks toward the deputy, who is slowly backpedaling.

Lott said that a second deputy, Zachary Hentz, later arrived, and that deputies unsuccessfully tried to use an electrical stun gun to subdue Moorer Charley.

“They did try to use the Taser,” Richland County Coroner Naida Rutherford said. “It did not not stick in the skin. And so it did not stop him as you would expect.”

Lott said that immediately after that, Moorer Charley charged Hentz, who shot Moorer Charley four times.

“It was a very close encounter,” Lott said, saying Hentz kept shooting until Moorer Charley dropped to the ground, and that the last shot was from less than 3 feet (0.9 meters) away. He said deputies tried to resuscitate Moorer Charley until an ambulance arrived.

Lott said he would not release the entire video. However, he said he had played it for the coroner, would play it for the local prosecutor and the department’s citizen advisory board. He also said he was willing to play it for Moorer Charley’s family.

“It’s just not something everyone needs to see,” Lott said. “I think the people that need to see it are going to see it.”

Critics including the South Carolina Black Activist Coalition and Stand As One planned a separate news conference Sunday to protest the shooting, saying they don’t believe it was justified. Fifth Circuit Solicitor Byron Gipson will decide whether to charge the officers with a crime.

Rutherford said rumors that Moorer Charley had been shot in the back, shot while in handcuffs and shot 10 times were untrue. Rutherford said the bullets struck Moorer Charley’s aorta, heart and liver.

In response to criticism that officers overreacted to someone with mental health problems, Lott emphasized the call to 911 hadn’t labeled Moorer Charley as someone in a mental health crisis.

“It’s sad all around,” the sheriff said. “Mental health is a problem in our community. We do not need to continue to ignore it. When someone cries out for help, they need to get help.”

Lott said his department’s most recent previous deadly officer shooting was in 2013.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


FILE - Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan waves to the crowd during a welcome ceremony in Sara...
Associated Press

Erdogan: Sweden can’t join NATO if Quran-burning is allowed

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reaffirmed Wednesday that Turkey won’t allow Sweden to join the NATO military alliance as long as the Scandinavian country permits protests desecrating Islam’s holy book to take place. Turkey, which has been holding off approving Sweden and Finland’s membership in the Western military alliance, has been […]
8 hours ago
Associated Press

Spain’s PM heads to Morocco to reap benefits of mended ties

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez travels to Rabat on Wednesday along with 12 ministers for a two-day meet with Moroccan government officials, as part of the European country’s strategy to improve historically complex relations with its neighbor across the Strait of Gibraltar. The visit comes 10 months after Sánchez went to […]
8 hours ago
Associated Press

Government reports 1 case of mad cow disease on Dutch farm

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — A cow that died recently on a Dutch farm has tested positive for mad cow disease, the government announced Wednesday, in a rare case of the cattle illness that can cause a fatal brain disease in people who eat tainted beef. The farm where the cow died has been sealed […]
8 hours ago
A golden lion tamarin is handled by researchers after it was vaccinated against yellow fever in a l...
Associated Press

Race to vaccinate rare wild monkeys gives hope for survival

SILVA JARDIM, Brazil (AP) — In a small lab nestled in Brazil’s Atlantic Forest, researchers with gloved hands and masked faces cradle four tiny golden monkeys so a veterinarian can delicately slide a needle under the thin skin of each sedated animal’s belly. The next morning, biologist Andréia Martins brings them to the precise spot […]
8 hours ago
Artis Stevens, CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, talks to a reporter in New York, Thursda...
Associated Press

Q&A: Big Brothers Big Sisters CEO recruits alumni as mentors

NEW YORK (AP) — Big Brothers Big Sisters America CEO Artis Stevens says the 119-year-old nonprofit long known for mentoring schoolchildren is now diversifying its programming. Stevens, who took over the organization two years ago, said the fastest growing demand for its services is among young adults, ages 18-25, and he wants to expand its […]
8 hours ago
Police officers escort Andrew Tate, right, handcuffed to his brother Tristan Tate, to the Court of ...
Associated Press

Andrew Tate awaits ruling on appeal of detention in Romania

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Andrew Tate, the divisive influencer and former professional kickboxer who is detained in Romania on suspicion of organized crime and human trafficking, appeared at a court in Bucharest on Wednesday to appeal against a second 30-day extension of his detention. Tate, 36, a British-U.S. citizen who has nearly 5 million followers […]
8 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

(Pexels Photo)...

Sports gambling can be fun for adults, but it’s a dangerous game for children

While adults may find that sports gambling is a way to enhance the experience with more than just fandom on the line, it can be a dangerous proposition if children get involved in the activity.
(Photo via MLB's Arizona Fall League / Twitter)...
Arizona Fall League

Top prospects to watch at this year’s Arizona Fall League

One of the most exciting elements of the MLB offseason is the Arizona Fall League, which began its 30th season Monday.
Quantum Fiber

Stream 4K and more with powerful, high-speed fiber internet

Picking which streaming services to subscribe to are difficult choices, and there is no room for internet that cannot handle increased demands.
SC deputies shoot and kill man, saying he fought officers