Attorneys representing the family of Keith Lamont Scott say that Scott’s wife witnessed the Tuesday-afternoon shooting that killed her husband.
“Yes, it’s my understanding that his wife saw him get shot and killed, and that’s something she will never, ever forget,” attorney Justin Bamberg said at a press conference outside the Mecklenburg County, N.C., courthouse Thursday afternoon, WCNC reports.
The Scott family were originally expected to speak at the press conference but were unable to do so. Bamberg, along with attorney Charles Monnett, represented the family and spoke on their behalf. Bamberg said the family members were too grief-stricken to attend; they are “still grieving the loss of their loved one.”
“This man was loved by his family, and he loved his family,” Bamberg said. “He was married for 20 years and had seven children. They are a big family and close-knit family.”
Scott was shot by a Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer Tuesday afternoon after, officers say, he failed to comply with “loud, clear verbal commands.” Police insist that the 43-year-old father had a gun, but other witnesses say that Scott had a book in his hand when he was shot.
“We are still looking into the facts,” Bamberg said. “My understanding from speaking with the family is that he didn’t have a gun and didn’t carry one.”
A photo reportedly taken at the scene of the shooting and confirmed by police shows a gun at Scott’s feet, WCNC reports. Bamberg acknowledged that he had seen the photo, but said that because he did not know the origin of it, it would be irresponsible of him to speak on it.
“I haven’t seen any evidence; none of you all have seen any evidence that a gun was there,” Bamberg said.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney has also said that the video evidence he reviewed does not show “definitive, visual evidence that would confirm that a person is pointing a gun.” Kerr said the video would not be made public.
Bamberg said that the family has asked to review the video evidence and would be viewing it later Thursday evening.
Protests of the shooting have turned into violent riots in the city of Charlotte. North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory declared a state of emergency and called in the National Guard for help. Bamberg said that the family is asking protesters to remain calm and stop rioting.
“Let me make this very clear: This family does not agree with rioting or innocent individuals being injured or killed,” Bamberg said. “But they do support citizens and their right to voice their frustrations and their anger.”