CHARLESTON, W.Va. — An independent community group has determined an officer-involved shooting that resulted in a Charleston man’s death was justified.
The group RESET issued its report Thursday in connection with the Nov. 2 shooting of Andrew Moore, 25, at the Orchard Manor housing complex on Charleston’s West Side.
Rev. Roberta Smith and three other RESET members were asked to review bodycam video of two police officers after some concern had been expressed in the community following the shooting. They determined the officers acted in an “appropriate manner” and saved two lives.
“We are an impartial group. We don’t favor the police. We don’t favor the community. We were looking to try and see what happened and give our best interpretation on what we saw,” Smith told MetroNews Thursday. “They did what they were supposed to do in that situation.”
The video showed Moore holding his pregnant fiancee hostage when police arrived. He had a knife to her neck and wouldn’t let go, Smith said.
“While all of this is going on he has the hostage tied up, basically, up against him, really tight with a knife up at her throat,” Smith said. “The warnings, there were a lot, they (police) were talking to him right when they hit the door.”
Smith said the police kept telling Moore to “drop the knife” and he replied “if you come near me I’ll kill her.”
According to the report, Moore was also “taunting” the officers to shoot him.
“We don’t know what was in his mind, only he knows that but based on his responses to the officers—it looked like he had his mind made up or he was making up his mind while he was talking,” Smith said. “He was holding her so tight, even when he (died), she had to pull herself out of his grip. The knife was still in his hand.”
The RESET group reviewed the bodycam footage with the help of the Charleston Police Department’s Internal Affairs Division, Smith said.
“I’m sure that everybody is not going to be happy with our report but that is what we saw and that is what we reported,” she said. “I can stand behind it and I can defend it.”
RESET stands for Restoring ruptured relationships, Establishing connections, Strengthening alliances, Empowering leadership, Transforming our community.
The two officers, who were placed on paid administrative leave after the shooting, have returned to duty.