The parents of Walter Scott, the black motorist shot dead by a police officer in North Charleston, South Carolina, on Saturday, spoke out Wednesday on the 50-year-old’s death. Judy Scott, who appeared on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” described a video of the encounter as “the most horrible thing I’ve ever seen.”
“I almost couldn’t look at it to see my son running defenselessly, being shot. It just tore my heart to pieces,” Judy Scott said, the Associated Press reported.
Scott’s father, Walter Scott Sr., reacted to the video during an appearance on NBC's “Today" show. He said Walter Scott may have fled his car during a routine traffic stop to avoid arrest for unpaid child support.
Walter Scott Sr. added that Michael T. Slager, the North Charleston police officer charged with murder Tuesday in connection with Scott’s death, “looked like he was trying to kill a deer running through the woods” when he shot Scott.
â€” AMC (@Truthbuster) April 8, 2015
Slager, a 33-year-old white man, was arrested Tuesday after authorities obtained video of his encounter with Scott, who fled his car after Slager stopped him to address a broken taillight. The two ran to a nearby park, where they briefly scuffled before Slager shot Scott dead with his handgun.
Slager told investigators that he feared for his life because Scott tried to grab his stun gun, and that he responded with lethal force only in self-defense. But a video of the confrontation showed Slager shot an apparently unarmed Scott multiple times in the back as he attempted to run away. Slager fired his gun eight times, though it’s unclear how many times Scott was shot.
The North Charleston officer appeared to drop an object next to Scott’s body after the shooting. Multiple outlets suggested the object was the stun gun Slager claimed Scott tried to use against him.
North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey addressed Slager’s arrest in a news conference Tuesday. “When you’re wrong, you’re wrong. When you make a bad decision, don’t care if you’re behind the shield or a citizen on the street, you have to live with that decision,” he said, the Charleston Post and Courier reported.
The video of the fatal shooting -- which was recorded by a bystander -- is uncut and graphic in nature and can be seen below.