Columbia – South Carolina deputies shot and killed a black man saying he ‘advanced’ on them with a wooden stake and that they cannot risk their own lives in dangerous situations.
“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,” WTOP tweeted.
Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott’s remarks came on Sunday following an outcry over the shooting incident that killed the 34-year-old Irvin D. Moorer Charley in Columbia.
“We can’t expect these deputies to go out here and be killed,” he said to the 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.”
Some critics raise concerns of mental illness that the black man was suffering from, pointing that the deputies were wrong to shoot him to death. However, on Sunday, Lott told the news reporters 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.”
A video clip retrieved from the incident showed Anderson constantly yelling at the black man to “Drop the weapon!” while backpedaling as the victim walked towards him.
Lott further said that another official, Zachary Hentz, later arrived at the Columbia shooting scene and “tried to use an electrical stun gun to subdue Moorer Charley.”
“They did try to use the Taser,” said Richland County Coroner Naida Rutherford. “It did not not stick in the skin. And so it did not stop him as you would expect.”
Right after that, Hentz shot him four times with the gun. “It was a very close encounter,” said Lott, as he “kept shooting until Moorer Charley dropped to the ground, and that the last shot was from less than 3 feet (0.9 meters) away.”
“Deputies tried to resuscitate Moorer Charley until an ambulance arrived,” he added.