GREENVILLE COUNTY, SC (WSPA) – Thirteenth Circuit Solicitor Walt Wilkins announced his office will not seek criminal charges against the deputies involved in the shooting of Jermaine Massey.
Wilkins said there is almost no evidence that would support charges based on the circumstances of the shooting.
The announcement was made at a news conference held Thursday.
On March 19, Massey called deputies to his home on 3rd Avenue.
Massey tells a dispatcher in a 911 call that he got into a fight with his girlfriend and wanted help leaving the house they shared.
He tells the operator that he suffers from bipolar disorder and says he felt like he may do something “stupid” as a result of an episode.
Wilkins said Massey talked about erratic violent thoughts.
He said deputies found Massey sitting on the back steps of the home and had a knife.
They asked him to drop it, but Massey didn’t respond.
They tased him 5 times with no effect.
After 3 – 4 minutes he became more erratic and moved the knife around, according to Wilkins.
Deputies said Massey charged the officers and three of them shot.
On a 911 call, deputies can be heard yelling “drop the knife” moments before deputies shot and killed Massey.
WARNING: You may find the video below to be graphic in nature.
Wilkins said Massey was approached by an officer hours earlier who saw him seeming to have alcohol problems.
Massey had a blood alcohol level of .15 and had Midazolam in his system, according to Wilkins.
The drug is a sedative given to patients before anesthesia and causes drowsiness, relieves anxiety and prevents memory of the event, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
The names of the deputies have been released.
- Master Deputy Wes Kilgore
- Deputy Chris Bell
- Deputy Mark Dulude
- Deputy Jake Lancaster (on scene but did not discharge firearm)
Following the shooting of Jermaine Massey, the community and Greenville County Council called for all deputies to be Crisis Intervention Team Trained, also known as CIT.
The Greenville County Sheriff’s Office states around 114 officers are CIT trained. Through the Freedom of Information Act Request, 7 News received a list of all deputies that are CIT trained. None of the officers involved in the Massey shooting were on that list of CIT trained deputies.
The Greenville County Sheriff’s Office plans to hold a CIT training event this summer to add that training for more of their deputies.
The crisis intervention training is aimed at helping subjects going through a mental health crisis.