Vigil held for James Island man shot and killed by Charleston Co. deputies

JAMES ISLAND, SC (WCSC) - Those close to Derryl Drayton say they remember a loving man who spent his time as a church organist.

"He's an organist in many churches, and everyone in the entire community knows him, and he touches each and every house with the loss of his life," says family friend Sandra Barbour.

Family, friends, and neighbors gathered at the memorial site on Seaside Lane to remember and honor him.

"These are the people that love him, down to the little kids, everybody, his whole family as you can see, these people, we're out here for a reason, and we're not going to give up," says Avis Aiken, Drayton's nephew.

On Saturday night, investigators were called to a home on Greenhill Road for a domestic disturbance. The Charleston County Sheriff's Office says Drayton ran from deputies and refused to stop. Officials say Drayton was tased twice, and then he stabbed a deputy in the knee. That's when two deputies shot him seven times. His family says what happened doesn't make sense.

"It was a hurtful feeling because he's not a violent person out in the streets," explains Brooke Smith, Drayton's cousin.

"He was not a person that would go around and harm or hurt anybody," says Aiken. "The way, how they did him, shoot him down like he was prey, that's not called for."

Those who knew Drayton well say even after he is laid to rest they will search for answers.

"We pray for the family and hope that everything just goes well," says family friend Edna Cromwell. "We don't want any harsh feelings with the police department or anything. We just want the truth."

Drayton's funeral is Friday at 11 a.m. at Emmanuel Baptist Church on James Island.