Teen charged after SC man killed while ‘testing’ bulletproof vest

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HONEA PATH, S.C. (WHNS) — The Anderson County Sheriff’s Office said a woman has been charged after a man died when a bullet missed the protective vest he was wearing when he asked a friend to shoot him.

Anderson County deputies said they received a call at 2:41 a.m. from a home on Broadmouth Church Road and arrived to find the victim lying in the garage area of a home with a single gunshot wound to the chest.

People at the scene performed CPR on the man, and paramedics were called before the coroner was called to the scene, deputies said.

Deputy coroner Don McCown said the victim, 26-year-old Blake Wardell, bled to death after he was shot in the chest.

McCown said Wardell and about eight to 10 friends were hanging out at the home when they decided to try on a bulletproof vest and have someone shoot them.

Wardell wore the vest but the shooter missed the Kevlar, hitting him in the chest, McCown said.

McCown said Wardell’s death is classified as a homicide. He said there was no evidence of heavy alcohol or drug use. 

Lt. Sheila Cole said 18-year-old Taylor Ann Kelly has been charged with involuntary manslaughter in connection with the shooting.

According to Cole, a person convicted of the charge may face up to 5 years in prison. 

Kelly is being held at the Anderson County Detention Center. Her bond has not been set at this time.

Cole said the investigation into the incident is on-going.

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