CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Charleston Police Department (CPD) Chief Luther Reynolds passed away at 56 years old after a battle with a rare form of bone cancer.

He passed away in a hospice facility shortly after 8:00 p.m. Monday with his wife and two children by his side.

Reynolds was diagnosed in November of 2021 and underwent treatment at the Medical University of South Carolina and the Mayo Clinic. He also had part of his leg amputated to try and stop the spread.

In February of 2022, Reynolds said that the amputation was successful and his “prognosis for the future [was] very positive.”

Reynolds continued serving with CPD as he navigated his recovery.

On May 17, 2023, Reynolds announced that he was stopping treatment and entering hospice care.

In a letter to the city, Reynolds said “Such decisions are never easy, of course — not for our family, and not for all the other families in our community who have to face them every day. It is our hope that by sharing this news publicly, we can also share with these other families some small measure of the love and support we’ve received over the past two years. We want them to know that in these difficult moments, they are not alone, and that our larger Charleston family prays for them as well.”

Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg released the following statement Monday night:

“Tonight, Charleston has lost not just a great police chief, but one of the finest human beings that many of us will ever know. Luther Reynolds was a modern man of ancient virtues: faith, honor, courage, duty. But most of all, and at his very core, Luther was a man of love. He loved his family, his friends, his life. He loved this city and the brave men and women who keep it
safe. He loved God, and in faithful service, he loved his neighbor. Over the coming days, we will mourn Luther Reynolds, for we loved him as much as he loved us. But even today, as our hearts are breaking, we can take solace in knowing that with Luther’s final journey now complete, his weary days of pain have passed, and his timeless days of peace have just begun.”

Charleston County Sheriff Kristin Graziano also released a statement following the announcement:

“My heart is absolutely broken over the loss of Chief Luther Reynolds. We should all be so thankful that we grew to know this man who served the Charleston community with dignity, grace and compassion. I will miss my friend and confidant. The Charleston County Sheriff’s Office stands in solidarity with the Charleston Police Department, and we hold the deepest sympathies for his family at this time.”

North Charleston Police Department Chief Greg Gomes reacted to the news as well, saying:

“The North Charleston Police Department sends its condolences to Caroline and the Charleston Police Department. We are all better officers and people watching Chief Reynolds lead with compassion, grace and passion.”

Editor’s note: This story is breaking and will be updated.