SENECA, S.C. (AP) — No criminal charges will be filed against a South Carolina police officer who fatally shot a 19-year-old during a drug sting, a state prosecutor announced Tuesday.
Solicitor Chrissy Adams said that after reviewing the case, she has determined Seneca officer Mark Tiller won't face state charges. The U.S. Department of Justice also is investigating and could bring federal charges later.
Adams made the announcement about state charges after meeting with the family of 19-year-old Zachary Hammond who was killed in the July 26 incident.
"We respectfully disagree," said Ronald Richter Jr., an attorney for the Hammond family. "We had a very long meeting with the prosecutor this morning. We respect the work she did, but we completely disagree with the decision not to go forward."
Richter said that the meeting was the first time the family and attorneys got a chance to see the police cruiser video of the shooting, which occurred in the parking lot of a fast food restaurant.
"That was the most important thing to finally get some answers to what happened to their son that night," Richter told The Associated Press. "It was very painful for them to watch that, but for the first time they have a better understanding of what took place."
Adams' statement said she would not release additional information about the case until federal authorities decide whether to charge the officer. But the State Law Enforcement Division said that it would release the video and other documents Tuesday. Media outlets had earlier sued the agency seeking that material.
Click through to see more reaction on Zachary Hammond's death:
Zachary Hammond's death reactions on Twitter
Official: No state charges for officer who fatally shot man
#ZacharyHammond isn't going to get the outrage he deserves because it would force folks to admit their consistent defense of police is wrong
Where are all the #AllLivesMatter people when it comes to #ZacharyHammond? All y'all looking funny in the light. http://t.co/VeCbLAliG2
KILLED BY POLICE
shot in the back, barely 19. this is madness :(
#RIP #ZacharyHammond http://t.co/fVexeUXaO1
He won't be labeled a thug but that doesn't mean police aren't grossly out of line. Stop killing us. #ZacharyHammond http://t.co/hsATc0PwOh
Seneca, SC Cop Fatally Shot Teen, #ZacharyHammond, In Back, Not In Self-Defense, Family Says http://t.co/TgDgT36lI0?
The truth is, many white people would rather be silent for #ZacharyHammond than speak up for black people. http://t.co/75oooeu3rW
stand up for #ZacharyHammond not in spite of those #AllLivesMatter folks but because a 19 yo kid was murdered by cops for 3.5 grams of weed
If all lives mattered, why are most of the folks on the #ZacharyHammond hashtag from #BlackLivesMatter? Peace to him and his family.
Stop the extrajudicial police killings! All races are involved! #AllLivesMatter right? #ZacharyHammond http://t.co/ghByw4hpoK
If you post #AllLivesMatter in your TL, then you better talk about #ZacharyHammond. A unarmed white kid shot in the back by police.
#AllLivesMatter is not meant to be inclusive it's meant to silence you. This is why the ALM idiots are ignoring this kid. #ZacharyHammond
I think the deafening silence from the #AllLivesMatter tweeters on #ZacharyHammond exposes what it's always been about; racism & hypocrisy.
funny how when we say #BlackLivesMatter, white people say "that's racist, all lives matter!" but y'all quiet for #ZacharyHammond now..
the same people who were shouting #AllLivesMatter are silent now that #ZacharyHammond, a white teen, was shot and killed by the police.
#ZacharyHammond name is getting plastered all over Twitter because #BlackLivesMatter have no problem making sure justice is for EVERYONE.
If you search the hashtag, you'll see that the vast majority of people speaking out for #ZacharyHammond right now are black.
State: *is worried about your safety because you bought $50 worth of marijuana*
Also State: *kills you to keep you safe* #ZacharyHammond
Discover More Like This
BACK TO SLIDE
Greg Dietterick, the city administrator for Seneca, said in a statement that "we are thankful the investigation has come to an end and shows Lt. Tiller was acting in self-defense. It is now time to start healing Seneca," a community of about 8,200 in upstate South Carolina, a few miles west of Clemson.
Tiller attorney John Mussetto said the officer agrees with the outcome of the investigation. "As stated from day one, Lt. Tiller acted in self-defense and the decision today supports this position," Mussetto said.
Before the shooting, Hammond had taken a woman on a first date, during which they stopped at McDonald's and then drove to Hardee's so Hammond could get a hamburger, according to a federal lawsuit filed by his family.
Seneca police said they were waiting at the Hardee's after an undercover officer arranged a drug deal with the woman. As officers pulled up to Hammond's car with lights flashing, he accelerated to leave, authorities said. The woman was not injured and later was charged with simple possession of marijuana
Tiller has said through his lawyer that he thought Hammond was trying to run him over and fired twice to protect himself. Hammond's family said a private autopsy showed that he was shot in the side and the back, proving the threat had passed.
City lawyers have said the shooting was justified and Tiller shot Hammond in self-defense.
Hammond's family says Tiller threated to blow Hammond's head off. The officer's attorneys deny that.
Lawyer Eric Bland has said the family talked to the woman in the car, looked at private surveillance camera footage and did the private autopsy.
The family's lawsuit says that after paramedics determined Hammond was dead, his body was left for 90 minutes on the ground, where it was bitten and stung by ants. A second officer gave the body a high-five sometime after other investigators arrived, according to the lawsuit.
In legal papers, lawyers have acknowledged that the second officer may have said something about inappropriate contact with Hammond's body.
Related: Look back at recent police-related deaths:
Recent shootings by police and related protests
Official: No state charges for officer who fatally shot man
People take part in a protest against police brutality and in support of Black Lives Matter during a march in New York, U.S. July 9, 2016. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz/File Photo
Lastarla Barker protests with other demonstrators calling for the Oakland Police Department to be defunded and against police brutality in Oakland, California, U.S. July 21, 2016. REUTERS/Noah Berger
PORTLAND, USA - APRIL 11: A protester holds a sign reading 'End White Supremacy And The Police State' during a protest against fatal police shootings in Portland, Oregon, United States on April 11, 2018. John Andrew Elifritz, 48, was fatally shot by police after he reportedly fled from a stolen car and burst into a homeless shelter at the start of an alcoholics anonymous meeting last Saturday. (Photo by Alex Milan Tracy/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, USA - APRIL 2 : People attend a protest near Trump International Hotel and Tower in response to the police shootings of unarmed victims across the US on April 2, 2018 in Chicago, United States. (Photo by Bilgin Sasmaz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
People march in protest to the fatal police shooting of Charleena Lyles, in Seattle, Washington on June 22, 2017.
Police in Washington were under scrutiny after a pregnant woman was fatally shot by officers responding to a burglary call. Authorities said the 30-year-old victim, identified as Charleena Lyles, had called to report an attempted burglary at her apartment on the morning of June 18 and pulled a knife on the two officers, who shot and killed her.
/ AFP PHOTO / Jason Redmond (Photo credit should read JASON REDMOND/AFP/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WA - JUNE 20: Chalk artwork is written on the ground at a memorial for Charleena Lyles at the apartment building in which she was killed on June 20, 2017 in Seattle, Washington. Officers from the Seattle Police Department shot and killed Lyles, a pregnant mother of four, on June 18. (Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images)
The car of Philando Castile is seen surrounded by police vehicles in an evidence photo taken after he was fatally shot by St. Anthony Police Department officer Jeronimo Yanez during a traffic stop in July 2016. Picture released June 20, 2017. Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. THIS PICTURE WAS PROCESSED BY REUTERS TO ENHANCE QUALITY. AN UNPROCESSED VERSION WILL BE PROVIDED SEPARATELY.
People hold signs in protest after a jury found St. Anthony Police Department officer Jeronimo Yanez not guilty of second-degree manslaughter in the death of Philando Castile yesterday, in Manhattan, New York, U.S., June 17, 2017. REUTERS/Bria Webb
Protesters hold placards against the killing of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile in Manhattan, New York, U.S., July 7, 2016. REUTERS/Bria Webb
People take part in a protest against the killings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile during a march in New York July 7, 2016. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 06: Demonstrators march through the streets protesting the Staten Island, New York grand jury's decision not to indict a police officer involved in the chokehold death of Eric Garner in July on December 6, 2014 in New York City. Protests are being staged nationwide after grand juries investigating the deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri and Eric Garner in New York failed to indict the police officers involved in both incidents. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
A protest sign showing and image of Ezell Ford as members of the 'Black Lives Matter' alliance stage protest outside the Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti's home as they try to force him to fire LAPD Police Chief Charlie Beck, in Los Angeles, California on June 7, 2015. The alliance have renewed protests after a recent report from an LAPD watchdog determined that the August 11, 2014 officer-involved shooting death of 25-year-old Ezell Ford in South Central was justified. AFP PHOTO/ MARK RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
Portland, United States - May 19: Protesters hold a banner during a demonstration for freedom and equality against police brutality and racism at the Portland Police Bureau's North Precinct in Portland, Ore., United States, on May 19, 2017, on what would have been Malcolm X's 92nd birthday. (Photo by Alex Milan Tracy/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Portland, United States - May 19: Protesters hold signs during a demonstration for freedom and equality against police brutality and racism at the Portland Police Bureau's North Precinct in Portland, Ore., United States, on May 19, 2017, on what would have been Malcolm X's 92nd birthday. (Photo by Alex Milan Tracy/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)