CHARLESTON — Charleston police shot a man wielding a knife Friday afternoon on the West Side after he made a “lunging movement” toward them, police Chief Tyke Hunt said.
Denaul Dickerson, 33, who is Black, was in stable condition in the hospital at 6 p.m. Friday after the 12:45 p.m. shooting near Washington Street West and Greendale Drive, the chief said.
Police were initially dispatched after receiving a call about a man threatening to stab another person, Hunt said. It’s unclear whether Dickerson was this man.
At a news briefing Friday, Charleston police shared two body camera videos from the incident. The release of the video footage was an attempt by the department to be “as transparent as possible,” Hunt said.
The videos show police talking to Dickerson, who is holding a cup in his hand.
He can be seen talking to police, saying, “I didn’t call you.” When an officer reaches for Dickerson, he throws the cup into the street and runs. Dickerson can then be seen holding a knife, standing at a distance from the officers and walking backward, east toward Charleston.
“I told you last time to kill me. Kill me then,” Dickerson can be heard saying as he backs toward the Women’s Health Center.
Hunt said Dickerson’s comments referred to an encounter between Dickerson and police last year, when he allegedly brandished a hatchet at them. That incident led to a bench warrant being issued for Dickerson earlier this year. Hunt did not say whether the warrant was still active Friday.
As the police follow Dickerson east on the video, they repeatedly tell him to drop the knife. He continues walking, occasionally yelling to the officers.
As Dickerson and the officers approach the Women’s Health Center, more police and cruisers await.
At 12:46 p.m. according to the video, about a minute into the confrontation, police are heard asking whether anyone has a taser.
“We ain’t got a taser. Nobody here’s got a taser,” an officer responds.
Dickerson continues walking, entering a grass lot where a UPS truck is parked across the street from the Women’s Health Center.
“Create the distance. Create the distance,” an officer yells to the others as they begin to circle around Dickerson.
Dickerson appears to briefly pivot from the officers as they again request a taser. Hunt said this is the point — about three minutes into the incident — that the first officer carrying a taser arrives.
Dickerson turns toward the others. Hunt said this is when Dickerson “takes an aggressive stance” and makes a “lunging movement” toward police. Two fired a combined five rounds. Hunt did not say how many times Dickerson was shot.
The video shows police immediately working to treat Dickerson’s wounds.
“I didn’t do anything wrong,” Dickerson can be heard saying. “I didn’t.”