Army veteran recovering from injuries after beaten during uptown riots

Published: Sep. 30, 2016 at 7:15 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A Charlotte family has raised more than $22,000 after an Army vet was beaten and hospitalized last week during riots that broke out after the deadly shooting of a man by a Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Officer.

Keith Lamont Scott, 43, was shot and killed by a police officer Tuesday afternoon while in the parking lot of an apartment complex in northeast Charlotte.

Violent protests broke out Tuesday night, followed by protests, violent protests and rioting on Wednesday. A majority of the rioting Wednesday took place in uptown Charlotte - with a majority of the damage near the EpiCentre.

United States Army veteran David Palmer, who is serving his first year as a civilian, was attacked Wednesday night during the riots, according to his family.

Ashley Warlick says her family got separated by protesters after having dinner at the EpiCentre that night.

"It was shortly after that things went south," Warlick told WBTV. "We were separated at that point. So I got on the phone with my brother multiple times trying to make sure that he headed back home."

Warlick posted in a GoFundMe page that Palmer was jumped by ten men who were attacking people and looting businesses around the EpiCentre.

Video posted online shows the mayhem near the place her brother was attacked.

**WARNING: Language in the video may not be appropriate for all users**

"They stole his phone and caused bodily injuries, not to mention the mental toll that it has taken," she wrote online.

He has a fractured eye socket and multiple broken bones in his face. Warlick told WBTV Palmer is going to have a metal plate on the left side of his face and will need reconstructive surgery.

"The specialists told us to imagine dropping a dinner plate from above your head - 'that's what the inside of your face looks like right now'," Warlick wrote.

He has reportedly been to see three different doctors and will be undergoing surgery on Monday.

The GoFundMe page has been set up to help Palmer pay for expected medical expenses.

"My little brother is my rock and seeing him go through such an awful situation is heart breaking," she wrote. "I knew I couldn't protect him while he was in Afghanistan, but never did I worry about our own streets."

There is another video online showing another man being beaten and stripped of his clothes in the EpiCentre parking lot not far from where Palmer was attacked.

Warlick said her understanding is that it was the same group of people who roughed up and injured her brother.

As the family waits for updates from investigators, Warlick is not expressing any bitterness.

"It's unfortunate what happened, but I see it bringing the city together, the community together,  our family together," she said. "That has been great - just seeing that happen."

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