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Family of woman shot by deputies wants better protocol for people with mental illness

Published: May. 21, 2022 at 9:08 PM EDT|Updated: May. 25, 2022 at 1:14 PM EDT
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LAURENS, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) is investigating an officer-involved shooting that killed a young woman in Laurens County.

The shooting happened around 8 p.m. on Saturday, May 21, on Old Stable Lane in Laurens, according to the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office.

SLED said deputies shot an armed woman who later died at the scene. The woman was later identified as 26-year-old Kalah Shannon Gary.

In a press release on Wednesday, Gary’s family and attorney said Kalah suffered from a mental health crisis at the time of shooting.

We’re told Kalah called 911 saying someone was breaking into her home but no one was actually there. Instead, when deputies arrived, the attorney said Kalah came out of the home with a sharp object and then pulled a projectile device that looked like a gun.

The family’s attorney says this was not a case where deputies did anything wrong but instead this is part of a bigger problem.

The family wants a better protocol on how to respond to people with mental illness. One thing they’re suggesting is a voluntary registry.

The family thanked the Sheriff’s Department and SLED for being transparent and showing them the bodycam footage.

Officials didn’t release any other information about the woman or what led to the shooting but mentioned no officers were injured during this incident.

Stay tuned for further information.

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