Updated as of 1:00 p.m. EDT: There was a bench warrant for the arrest of Walter Scott when he was pulled over by Officer Michael Slager, according to a new report that contradicts an earlier claim that there was no warrant in existence when Scott was shot to death last Saturday.
In addition, there was more than $18,000 in outstanding payments for child support owed by Scott, according to NBC News, which, like the Associated Press, pointed to court documents to support its report. The existing amount Scott owed is far more than the nearly $8,000 that was originally cited by the AP.
When the warrant for Scott's arrest was activated Jan. 16, 2013, he owed $7,836, but that figure had inflated to $18,104 by the time he was fatally gunned down April 4. Scott's previous and final child support payment came July 20, 2012, though it is unclear how much money was remitted at the time.
Original story: There was no warrant for Walter Scott's arrest last Saturday when the 50-year-old black motorist was shot and killed by a police officer in North Charleston, South Carolina, court records indicate. Scott owed more than $7,800 in back child support and court fees at the time of the confrontation and may have fled from his car during a routine traffic stop out of fear that he would be jailed because of his debt, family members said.
Bench warrants were issued for Scott in both 2011 and 2012 because of overdue child support payments, the Associated Press reported. Scott has four children and he has spent time in jail on three occasions for child support debts. But no warrant had been issued last weekend, when dash cam footage showed Scott fleeing from his car in a bid to escape former North Charleston police Officer Michael Slager.
Initial reports on the fatal shooting said Scott ran from his car because there was an open warrant out for his arrest. Slager, who was fired from the police force and charged with murder this week, told authorities after the shooting that he acted in self-defense after Scott attempted to grab his Taser. But a video of the confrontation showed he shot Scott, who appeared to be unarmed, in the back as Scott attempted to flee.