Witness in Seneca shooting has differing account from law enforc - FOX Carolina 21

Witness in Seneca shooting has differing account from law enforcement

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New details have emerged from a petition filed with the South Carolina Supreme Court in the shooting death of a Seneca teen.

Zachary Hammond, 19, was shot and killed July 26 in an officer-involved shooting.  

According to Seneca Police and attorneys, Lt. Mark Tiller fired at Hammond after the teen allegedly started driving his car in Tiller's direction. Authorities say that Tiller feared for his life and was forced to fire his gun.

But Tori Morton recalled the events of July 26 differently from officers in a sworn affidavit.  Morton was a passenger in the vehicle Hammond was in, and witnessed the events.

In the affidavit, she wrote:

"Zach and I are sharing a chocolate dipped ice cream cone from McDonalds, and as we were pulling into a parking spot the police SUV was lighted (sic) up in blue flashing lights.

The two officers got out and had they're (sic) guns drawn, telling that he would blow our (expletive deleted) off and immediately started firing.  As the shots rang the car moved/rolled forward and along the cub until another cop car smashed into the back of Zach's car to stop us.  As they surrounded the car they started yelling "where's the gun get the gun." Zach was already dead and then they drug (sic) us out of the car onto the pavement.  After I was handcuffed onto the ground and the officer that stood me up-he put the car in park.

Morton goes on to say that all the events happened within a matter of seconds. She also said that she and Hammond were on a date when the shooting occurred.

The affidavit is part of a petition filed with South Carolina's highest court by attorneys representing Hammond's family.

The petition seeks to have S.C. Attorney General Alan Wilson remove 10th Circuit Solicitor Chrissy Adams from the Hammond case due to what attorneys cited as numerous conflicts of interest - namely, due to reported comments that she has made in court and because a case involves a law enforcement member within her judicial circuit.

Adams has refused to recuse herself from the case, while Wilson has refused to take any action on the case.

Tiller is currently on administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation by the S.C. Law Enforcement Division.

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