Skip To Content
BuzzFeed News Reporting To You

Dash Cam Video Of Officer Shooting Unarmed Teen In South Carolina Released

Seneca police officer Mark Tiller was meanwhile cleared Tuesday by the state for any criminal wrongdoing in the death of 19-year-old Zachary Hammond in July. Warning: This video may be considered graphic.

Last updated on October 27, 2015, at 4:00 p.m. ET

Posted on October 27, 2015, at 12:19 p.m. ET

Law enforcement investigators released a dash cam video Tuesday showing the moment a police officer in South Carolina fatally shot at 19-year-old Zachary Hammond in his car, according to WYFF News.

The video was released the same day that a state prosecutor announced that criminal charges would not be filed against Seneca Police Lt. Mark Tiller.

Tiller shot Hammond twice during an undercover drug sting that turned bad at a Hardee's fast food restaurant on July 26. The police were focusing on 23-year-old Tori Diana Morton, who was the passenger in Hammond's car.

Hammond's parents saw the video for the first time Tuesday and were "heartbroken that criminal charges were not brought against Tiller," the family's attorney, Eric Bland, told BuzzFeed News.

He added that they are "at a better place" now that they know more about the moments that led up to their son's death — but are disappointed that solicitor Chrissy Adams declined to file state criminal charges against Tiller.

"We're disappointed obviously," Bland said, explaining that it was clear to him that the officer didn't follow the necessary escalation protocol. However, he said "respects her decision."

The Justice Department has not yet concluded its civil rights investigation into the incident that was launched in August.

In a letter to the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED), Adams wrote, "After reviewing the entire SLED file regarding the officer involved shooting in Seneca, the facts do not warrant charged being filed against Seneca Officer Mark Tiller in State Court."

In a statement, Seneca City Administrator Greg Dieterrick praised the decision.

"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," Dieterrick said. "The night of July 26 was a tragic event for this community and I personally will always grieve for the Hammond family."

Adams found that the evidence supports Tiller's claim that he feared he was going to be run over. "Therefore, the only conclusion that can be rendered is that deadly force was justified," she wrote.

In August, Bland had called for Adams to be removed from the case, stating that she "cannot be considered objective," according to The State. That request was eventually denied.

Here's the full letter that Adams sent to SLED:


ADVERTISEMENT