On Sunday, dozens of people gathered at Springfield Baptist Church in hopes of beginning the healing process, after an officer-involved shooting that ended in the death of a Greenville County man.
Songs and prayers is how the community is rallying behind the family of Jermaine Massey.
“The rally is to bring the community together, to first support the family.. Spiritually, emotionally and financially,” Paul Guy, the Director of Beyond Differences, told 7News.
In March, Massey made a call to 911 after an argument with his girlfriend. According to the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office deputies when they responded to Massey’s home he charged at them with a knife. That’s when shots were fired.
Massey’s death has since been ruled a homicide by the Greenville County Coroner.
Before his death, Massey told the 911 operate he was Bipolar. Now community activist say Massey’s death could have been prevented.
“We are turning the attention now to mental health and the need for mental health awareness,” said Dr U. A. Thompson, a community activist. “As well as crisis intervention training of our deputies.”
The group says it extended an invitation to law enforcement, as a first step toward progress.
“We are here to try a new course, there’s a new course that has to be charted with the Sheriff’s Office,” said Guy. “With the failed leadership of Sheriff Will Lewis, this is an opportunity for us to go into the Sheriff’s Office and really create a positive environment for the community and for the Sheriff’s Office.”
The officer-involved shooting is still under investigation.
The 4 deputies involved were placed on administrative leave.
At this time, the Sheriff’s Office has not released body camera footage of the incident, but the family has viewed it with the Solicitor.
Count on 7News to bring you the latest on this developing story.