COLUMBIA, S.C. - A coroner’s inquest has determined that Columbia police were justified in the shooting death of an armed 21-year-old man.
A six-person jury made that finding Wednesday. They met at the request of Richland County Coroner Gary Watts, who called for an inquest after reviewing the State Law Enforcement Division’s investigation into the May 25 shooting of Ajani Mitchell.
Investigators were called to a home that day by Mitchell’s mother, who said he had a gun and was acting strangely. Police say they shot Mitchell after he refused to put down the weapon and threatened officers.
Jurors determined that the two officers acted in self-defense in an unavoidable situation, and that a normal person would have acted the same way.
A Mitchell family attorney said they were disappointed by the verdict.