Wardell bled to death after the bullet missed the vest and wounded him in the chest. His friend, Taylor Ann Kelly, 18, has been charged with involuntary manslaughter, according to police.
Kelly could face up to five years in prison.
Police have classified Wardell's death as a homicide and said drug and alcohol use were not involved in the incident. Police were still investigating the shooting.
Photo of Taylor Ann Kelly via the Anderson County, S.C. Sheriff's Office.