GREENVILLE, South Carolina -- The parents of 19-year-old Zachary Hammond said they wanted answers after their son was shot and killed by police in South Carolina. On July 26, Hammond was on a date with 23-year-old Tori Morton. Morton, police said, was the target of a drug sting. When Hammond and Morton pulled into a Hardee's parking lot, police were waiting.
According to the police report, Hammond, who was driving, "attempted to strike an officer with his vehicle." It was at that time, police shot him twice. Hammond died at the scene.
"It's a horrible situation. I mean you get put in a predicament. Sometime you know that when you sign up to be a police officer that that potential is there during your career that may have to use deadly force," Seneca Police Chief John Covington said.
Hammond's parents said police were not providing answers to their questions, so they went looking for their own. An independent autopsy they conducted showed their son was shot from behind and at close range. The family attorney added the results show the car was stopped at the time of the shooting.
"It's been very hard. Not only are we grieving that our son is gone. We don't know why it happened? Or what happened? And we're just trying to find answers," mother Angie Hammond said.
The officer involved in the shooting is a 10-year veteran of the force with no history of getting into trouble, police said.
"In order to stop the continuing threat to himself and the general public, two shots were fired by Lieutenant Tiller in quick secession. If not for Lieutenant Tiller's quick reflexes and his ability to push off of the car, Lieutenant Tiller would have easily been run over by Mr. Hammond," Lt. Mark Tiller's lawyers said in a statement.
South Carolina Law Enforcement Division continues to investigate the officer-involved shooting. Dash cam video recorded the night of the shooting has not yet been released.