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South Carolina Cop Who Ran After Teen's Car And Killed Him Won't Be Charged (Video)

Dash-cam video (below) of Lt. Mark Tiller fatally shooting Zach Hammond on July 26 in the parking lot of a Hardee's fast-food restaurant in Seneca, South Carolina, was released on Oct. 27.

Tiller shot Hammond twice as part of a drug sting that was centered on Tori Diana Morton, who was Hammond's passenger, notes WYFF.

In the video, Tiller drives up, jumps out of his cruiser, and points his gun at Hammond.

As the 19-year-old driver pulls away in his car, Tiller chases the vehicle and fires two shots into the vehicle.

Hammond was hit in the back, indicating that Tiller was behind the teen when he shot him through an open window.

Tiller will not face charges, according to a statement by 10th Judicial Circuit Solicitor Chrissy Adams who put the blame on Hammond:

"Hammond then turns the car hard left toward Lt. Tiller resulting in Lt. Tiller being face-to-face with Hammond at the driver’s window.

"The dashcam video shows Hammond’s vehicle veering toward Lt. Tiller and accelerating rapidly. Tiller back pedals a few steps to avoid being knocked down by Hammond’s car and is seen pushing off the vehicle as it veers towards him.

"The dashcam video shows Tiller’s feet going underneath the car at the approximate time the shots are fired. This can also be seen in the still photos provided by the FBI lab. Two shots are fired in rapid succession. The first shot can be heard almost immediately after Tiller pushes off the car and when his body is still exposed to danger from the vehicle.  The second shot immediately follows. 

"The car accelerated with such force that a concrete curb was damaged as well as Hammond’s front passenger-side tire. Tiller is heard on the dashcam video seconds after the shooting saying Hammond tried to hit him with the car.

"The situation rapidly unfolded and, as evidenced by the dash cam video, Tiller was forced to decide whether or not to fire his weapon in less than three seconds."

"I'm very disappointed [with the decision]," Hammond's mother Angie told WYFF. "It's hard to understand."

"There are a lot of questions and very sorry police work, very sorry police work," added Hammond's father, Paul. "That is not the way things should be handled. My son lost his life and he should not have."

The case is not over. The U.S. Justice Department is conducting a federal civil rights investigation into the incident.

Seneca City Administrator Greg Dietterick also released a statement, reports Fox Carolina: "The past three months have been extremely difficult for the residents of Seneca, its city employees and the 45 members of its police force. While the effects of outside agitators to tear apart our community lingers, we are thankful the investigation has come to an end and shows Lt. Tiller was acting in self-defense."

Dietterick didn't identify the "outside agitators" who are allegedly trying to "tear apart our community," but there was a lawful rally held by members of the community, Hammond's family members and the organization Put Down the Guns Now Young People on Aug. 15, noted Fox Carolina.

Sources: WYFF, Fox Carolina (2) / Photo credit: WYFF Screenshot


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