AP

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.

AP

President Joe Biden speaks at a campaign rally Saturday, March 9, 2024, at Pullman Yards in Atlanta...

Associated Press

US shoots down ‘nearly all’ Iran-launched attack drones as Biden vows support for Israel’s defense

Joe Biden cut short a weekend stay at his beach house to meet with his national security team as Iran launched an attack against Israel.

16 hours ago

Protesters in Phoenix shout as they join thousands marching around the Arizona state Capitol after ...

Associated Press

Abortion ruling supercharges Arizona to be an especially important swing state

A ruling this week instituting a near-total abortion ban supercharged Arizona's role, turning it into the most critical battleground.

1 day ago

Former President Donald Trump, center, appears in court for his arraignment, Tuesday, April 4, 2023...

Associated Press

Manhattan court searching for jurors to hear first-ever criminal case against a former president

Jury selection is set to start Monday in former President Donald Trump's hush money case — the first trial of the presumptive nominee.

1 day ago

Emergency personnel arrive on the scene after a  an 18-wheeler crashed into the Texas Department of...

Associated Press

1 dead and 13 injured in semitrailer crash at a Texas public safety office, with the driver jailed

A driver rammed an 18-wheeler though the front of a building where his renewal for a commercial driver’s license had been rejected.

1 day ago

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump speaks at a Get Out The Vote rally ...

Associated Press

Trump pushes Arizona lawmakers to ‘remedy’ state abortion ruling that he says ‘went too far’

Donald Trump urged Arizona lawmakers on Friday to swiftly “remedy” the state court ruling allowing prosecutors to enforce an abortion ban.

2 days ago

Biden to require more gun dealers to run background checks....

Associated Press

Biden administration will require thousands more gun dealers to run background checks on buyers

New Biden rule to require thousands more firearms dealers across the United States will have to run background checks on buyers.

2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

COLLINS COMFORT MASTERS

Here are 5 things Arizona residents need to know about their HVAC system

It's warming back up in the Valley, which means it's time to think about your air conditioning system's preparedness for summer.

...

DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

...

Fiesta Bowl Foundation

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade is excitingly upon us

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe is upon us! The attraction honors Arizona and the history of the game.

SC deputies shoot and kill man, saying he fought officers