SC deputies shot and killed one man, saying he had fought with officersOn March 21, 2022 by editor
A South Carolina sheriff is defending the deadly shot of a black man on Saturday who attacked officers with a wooden stick.
ByThe Associated Press
March 21, 2022, 12:01 AM
A Read 3 minutes
COLOMBIA, SC – A South Carolina sheriff is protecting the deadly shots of a black man who attacked officers with a wooden bar, saying deputies cannot be expected to sacrifice their lives in dangerous situations.
Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott’s comment was made by Irwin D. Sunday came in a frenzy over Murray Charlie’s Saturday shooting Murray Charlie, 34, was shot dead in Colombia when deputies responded to a call for domestic violence.
“We can’t expect these deputies to get out of here and be killed,” Lott told reporters. And that’s what this deputy did yesterday. He defended himself. He went home to his family last night. Unfortunately Mr. Charlie did not. It’s a decision he’s made. “
Critics say Moore’s Charlie had a mental health crisis and deputies mistakenly shot him. But Lott told reporters Sunday that when Deputy John Anderson arrived at the family home, multiple people said Moore’s Charlie had injured them and said Moore-Charlie was inside with a knife.
Lott Body played a clip in the camera video where Anderson repeatedly told Moore Charlie to “drop the weapon!” Moore walks towards Charlie’s deputy, who is slowly backpaddling.
Lott said a second deputy, Zachary Hentz, arrived later and that the deputies tried unsuccessfully to use an electric stun gun to subdue Moore Charlie.
“They tried to use a teaser,” said Richland County Coroner Naida Rutherford. “It didn’t stick to the skin. And so it didn’t stop him as you expected.”
Lott said that soon after, Moore accused Charlie Hentz, who shot Moore Charlie four times.
“It was a very close encounter,” Lott said. Hentz continued shooting until Murray’s Charlie fell to the ground and the last shot was from a distance of less than 3 feet (0.9 meters). An ambulance arrived.
Lott said he would not release the full video. However, he said he played it for the coroner, who will play for the local prosecutor and the department’s citizen advisory board. He further added that he is willing to play it for Moore Charlie’s family.
“It’s not something that everyone should see,” Lott said. “I think people want to see it, they’re going to see it.”
Critics, including the South Carolina Black Activist Coalition and Stand As One, planned a separate press conference Sunday to protest the shooting, saying they did not believe it was fair. Fifth Circuit Solicitor Byron Gipson will decide whether criminal charges will be brought against the officers.
Rutherford said it was untrue that Murray Charlie was shot in the back, handcuffed and shot 10 times. Rutherford said the bullet hit Moore in Charlie’s aorta, heart and liver.
In response to criticism that officials overreacted to someone with a mental health problem, Lott insisted the 911 call did not label Moorer Charlie as a person with a mental health crisis.
“It’s sad all around,” the sheriff said. “Mental health is a problem in our community. We don’t need to ignore it. When someone cries out for help, they need help.”
Lott said the most recent previous officer in his department was shot in 2013.