LAKE COUNTY, Fla. - Family and friends of a Lake County man who was fatally shot by a deputy spoke out on Monday at a news conference, berating the Sheriff's Office.
Andrew Scott's family had stayed silent since he was killed in his apartment in July, but his mother spoke through tears on Monday.
"We are heartbroken by the loss of my son's life," said Scott's mother, Amy Young. "Shame on you, Sheriff Borders."
According to the family's attorney, Mark NeJame, they did not want to speak out until they knew the details of what led up to the deadly shooting.
"This action, this arrogant action by law enforcement, by the sheriff of Lake County, will cost the taxpayers of Lake County millions of dollars because the law was not followed," said NeJame.
NeJame announced a civil lawsuit against the Lake County Sheriff's Office last week as he recreated the night Scott was shot to death by a deputy.
The demonstration included a poster board of the angle of the bullets through the door as well as testimony from neighbor Debra Brown, who said she heard it happen.
"When they opened fire, it was 'Bam, bam, bam, bam, bam!' They just kept shooting," Brown said.
NeJame said when Scott heard somebody pounding on his door at 1:30 a.m., he had every right to answer it with a gun in his hand.
Scott's girlfriend, Miranda Mauck, made it very clear that he "never" raised his weapon. She said the gun was in his hand, but that's it.
Mauck said Scott opened the door just enough to see who was outside.
"Almost immediately, a hail of gunfire started," she said. "Drew never aimed his gun or shot at anyone."
The Sheriff's Office said deputies did face a firearm and had to defend themselves, but authorities later admitted they were at the wrong apartment and confronted the wrong man.
The Sheriff's Office also acknowledged that deputies did not announce themselves. However, they said the law does not require it as long as they have no intention of going in.
Deputies said they were after Scott's neighbor, Jonathon Brown, in connection with an attempted murder charge.
"'We don't care what Florida statute says. We're going to do whatever the hell we want and too bad. And if there's a dead innocent person, oh, well.' Uh-uh. You've got to follow the law," said NeJame.
During Monday's news conference, NeJame showed text messages and patrol car computer messages from Leesburg officers commenting about the case. In the messages, two hours after the shooting, officers seemed to be making jokes about what happened and suggested the next occupants of the apartment would get a move-in special.
A sheriff's spokesman said sheriff deputies did not send the text messages; they were sent by Leesburg police, who were also involved with the case.
NeJame said he planned to sue the Sheriff's Office in federal court, which opens up the possibility of a multimillion-dollar award.
"I demand justice for my son," said Young. "God forbid that another mother has to go through this pain."
Source: Channel 9, Eye Witness News