GRAPHIC | Police chief reviews officer-involved shooting with WSAZ
Viewers may find the video disturbing.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - Officer-involved shootings come down to split-second decisions in tense situations.
WSAZ obtained the body-cam video from the Charleston Police Department of an officer-involved shooting.
It shows how a routine call escalated to a fatal shooting in a matter of minutes.
A Charleston police officer acted in self-defense when he shot and killed a suspect earlier this month, according to the Kanawha County Prosecuting Attorney.
The Kanawha County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office released a letter Friday, Jan. 27, stating no criminal charges will be filed in connection with the incident that happened on Jan. 11, 2023.
William E. Henry Jr., 43, of Charleston, was pronounced dead at the hospital, a CPD news release states.
For about five minutes, officers tried to get the man out from underneath the bridge and talk with him, based on the body-camera video time stamp.
Police say Henry was armed with a pipe and refused to obey officers’ demands to drop the weapon. Officers said he fought through a Taser deployment and struck an officer in the head with the pipe.
Charleston Police confirmed the same officer who deployed his Taser, then grabbed his gun and fired six shots.
However, Chief Tyke Hunt said only two shots struck Henry.
Chief Hunt said he only watched the video a handful of times.
“You can clearly tell the offender is in pain. I don’t want to see anybody hurt. That is a part of the job, but unfortunately, in a very minimal aspect. It’s not what we signed up to do,” Hunt said.
“Given the individual’s demeanor, I don’t see this going any differently, and I’m glad that our hybrid officers encountered this individual first rather than any other person alone like our CARE team,” Hunt said.
The city of Charleston’s Coordinated Addiction Response Effort or CARE team meets individuals where they are to offer mental health and homeless outreach services.
After law enforcement resolves a situation, the CARE team steps in, according to Hunt.
“Law enforcement is a dynamic profession, and we can always do things better. We want to see how we can prevent someone from getting hurt in the future and how we can prevent an officer from getting hurt.” Hunt said.
Hunt said in these situations reviewing videos of incidents with a critical eye is key and plans to sit down with the CARE team to review.
“We never want to hurt anyone. I know from personal experience of speaking to officers that have been in a situation like this one, an officer-involved shooting, that it’s a struggle to live with,” Hunt said. “It really weighs heavy on your shoulders because we signed up to do this job to help people, make a difference, and help as many people as we can.”
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