A still from the body cam footage shows Irvin Charley before he is shot by a Richland County deputy. 

A Charleston pastor and leader of the South Carolina Racial Justice network confirmed Thursday that a funeral for a man killed by a Richland County deputy during a weekend altercation is set for Wednesday. 

Rev. James Johnson said the service for Irvin Charley will be at J.B. Hollands Funeral Chapel in Columbia. Charley, 34, was killed Saturday evening when he charged two officers who had come to the house following a 911 call from family members. Charley, who suffered from mental illness, wielded a 15-inch wooden stake but was not armed with a gun. 

Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott said the department is conducting an internal inquiry but has said the shooting was justified. 

Johnson and the family disagree and said he anticipates protests will follow the service, although the family has called for calm in the wake of the officer-involved shooting. The family has hired a trio of lawyers and said they will file suit against the department.  

“What happened was reckless and should have not happened,” Johnson said. “It makes me question Richland County’s policies and procedures in regards of the mentally ill.” 

The Richland County Sheriff’s Department released full body cam footage from both deputies, John Anderson and Zachary Hentz, on Wednesday, along with the full 911 call made by a family member. Hentz has been identified as the officer who shot Charley. 

Here is a timeline of the altercation: 

  • A family member told a 911 operator at 5:49 p.m. that her brother, Irvin Charley, pulled a knife on several family members including his mother and brother. 
  • The family member also told the 911 operator that Charley was on foot and that an officer had been to their house before Charley walked to his mother, Connie Craig’s, house. 

The body cam footage from Deputy Anderson includes: 

  • Craig confirmed to Deputy Anderson when he arrived at 5:53 p.m. that her son was in the house and had pulled a knife on her. 
  • Craig confirmed it was her son when asked, “Is it Irvin?” and said he was inside the home after hitting her on the head and hurting her arm. 
  • Charley’s brother, Ivan Charley, confirmed that Irvin had a knife. 
  • Craig denied a request for EMS and told Anderson to “get that (expletive) out of my house.” 
  •  Deputy Anderson asked Charley to drop the weapon multiple times after he came outside. 
  • At 5:54 p.m., Deputy Zachary Hentz arrived at the scene. 
  • Charley is still outside while his mother is trying to calm him down, “baby, don’t do this.” 
  • Charley then says, “Officer shoot me, y’all can shoot me.” 
  • After being asked again to drop the weapon, Deputy Anderson attempted to tase, which failed and caused Charley to charge. 
  • Deputy Hentz fired seven times; four bullets were confirmed to enter Charley’s body. 
  • Deputy Anderson called in, “Shots fired, shots fired,” as he proceeded to handcuff Charley, who appeared unconscious on the ground. 
  • Deputy Hentz said, “And all you had to do was drop the knife, that is all you had to do.” 
  • At 5:56 p.m., Deputy Hentz began chest compressions on Charley. 
  • At 6:02 p.m., EMTs arrived with an AED kit to put on Charley’s chest area. 
  • At 6:05 p.m, an oxygen mask was put on Charley while chest compressions continued. 
  • Body cam footage ended at 6:08 p.m while chest compressions were still being done. 

Deputies urged Charley to “drop the knife” multiple times. Charley was actually holding a stake. Photo provided by Richland County Sheriffs Department.


Caroline Williamson

Caroline Williamson

Caroline Williamson is an aspiring business journalist and native of Columbia, South Carolina. She was a former editor for the Garnet and Black Magazine and acquisitions intern for UofSC Press where she developed a passion for editing. Williamson enjoys writing narrative pieces that share unique perspectives and bring justice to those without a voice. She hopes to bring those skills and passion to a regional newspaper or magazine after graduation in May.

Ashley Miller

Ashley Miller

Ashley Miller is an aspiring investigative reporter from Lancaster, South Carolina. Miller worked for Fusion Magazine as a photojournalist in Kent, Ohio, during her freshman year and continues to assist the publication remotely. Miller wants to eventually write for a daily publication. Check out her portfolio at https://ashleymiller0626.journoportfolio.com to see clips and learn more