Private autopsy for Keith Lamont Scott shows 4 gunshot wounds, one to his back

Private autopsy for Keith Lamont Scott shows 4 gunshot wounds, one to his back
(Source: Family of Keith Lamont Scott)
(Source: Family of Keith Lamont Scott)

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Private autopsy reports have been released for a man who was shot and killed by a Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer last month.

Keith Lamont Scott's family had an independent autopsy done on the 43-year-old. In a statement from Charles G. Monnett, the Scott family's attorney, he said they believe the first shot was to Scott's back.

The independent autopsy shows Scott was struck at least four times by bullets fired by a Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer.

"We believe the first shot fired was the shot that struck Keith in the back and ultimately killed him," Monnett said in a statement.

According to the autopsy report, "The cause of death is two, penetrating indeterminable range gunshot wounds to the back and abdomen."

Scott was killed September 20 when police were serving a warrant at The Village at College Downs apartment complex on Old Concord Road, in northeast Charlotte.

According to CMPD, plainclothes officers were at the apartment complex to serve a warrant unrelated to Scott. They said Scott pulled into the parking lot and parked beside the unmarked police vehicle officers were in, then began rolling what they believed to be a marijuana "blunt."

A short time later, police say they saw Scott hold a gun up.

NOTE: The video was provided to WBTV and other media outlets by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department. WBTV cannot authenticate at this time that the video and audio hasn't been edited or altered before it was provided to the station.

According to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney, the officers identified themselves as police officers and "gave clear, loud and repeated verbal commands to drop the gun." Scott refused to follow those commands.

That's when an officer in uniform and in a marked vehicle arrived to assist, and "utilized his baton to attempt to breach the front passenger window in an effort to arrest" Scott.

CMPD said Scott then got out of the vehicle with the gun and "backed away from the vehicle while continuing to ignore officers' repeated loud verbal commands to drop the gun."

"Officer [Brentley] Vinson perceived Mr. Scott's actions and movements as an imminent physical threat to himself and the other officers. Officer Vinson fired his issued service weapon, striking Mr. Scott," police officials said. "Officers immediately rendered first aid and requested Medic to respond to the scene."

Scott's family has said he did not own a gun, but police said they recovered a gun at the scene of the shooting. Chief Putney said Scott was "absolutely in possession of a handgun."

The autopsy, performed on Sept. 30, shows Scott was shot in his upper back, abdomen, and twice near his left hand.

"The cause of death is two, penetrating, indeterminate range gunshot wounds to the back and abdomen," Kim Collins, the forensic pathologist who conducted the autopsy wrote. "The manner of death is homicide."

Monnett said they were "forced to conduct the independent autopsy because the medical examiner refused to release even the most basic information about his wounds or cause of his death."

The private autopsy does not include a toxicology report, which was conducted by county medical examiners who originally examined Scott's body.

"The Scott family authorized this release of information because, as they have maintained from the very beginning, they are simply seeking transparency," Monnett said. "We will continue to pursue justice for this family."

The family reportedly delayed Scott's funeral so they could conduct the second autopsy.

That service, which is slated to be held in James Island, SC was further delayed last week due to pending weather from Hurricane Matthew.

The funeral is now slated to be held Friday.

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