December 03, 2014
Earlier this week there was a tradgic shooting of a mentally ill man. John Pepper was shot by an Anderson County deputy after being threatened by Pepper during a standoff at his home. This is clearly a case where better CIT training in dealing with potentially dangerous mentally ill individuals would greatly benefit Anderson County, South Carolina and our nation as a whole. Paton weighed in on the situation in the following article from the Greenville News, suggesting how the situation could have been handled better by the police officers.
Before he was fatally shot, John Pepper told deputies that he was “ready to leave this world” and would “kill them all” if they didn’t leave his property, according to a Sheriff’s Office report released Tuesday.
Pepper would be dead within two hours after he was shot in the chest by an Anderson County deputy. The deputy is on paid administrative leave while SLED investigates the standoff that a local mental health advocate believes may have been escalated when deputies didn’t back off.
Paton Blough has trained officers across the Upstate on crisis intervention techniques, including those at the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office. He often tells officers to take their time in situations like the one that happened outside Pepper’s home on Brogan Avenue.
“Just going slow and backing off can calm the situation down,” Blough said Tuesday. “In this situation, what was the big hurry?”