Man killed by police officer in Charlotte has ties to the Lowcountry

Man killed by police officer in Charlotte has ties to the Lowcountry
Keith Scott. (Source: Facebook)
Keith Scott. (Source: Facebook)
Authorities respond to the shooting (Source: WBTV)
Authorities respond to the shooting (Source: WBTV)
Barron Rivers (Source: WCSC)
Barron Rivers (Source: WCSC)

JAMES ISLAND, SC (WCSC) - The man killed by a police officer in Charlotte Tuesday has ties to the Lowcountry.

Keith Scott grew up right here in the Lowcountry.

Scott lived on James Island and comes from a big family; his late father was an officer in the Charleston area years ago.

Now, Scott's other family members are trying to find out more details about their loved one's death.

The effects from the Keith Scott shooting were felt from Charlotte all the way to Charleston.

That's because Scott grew up on James Island and many of his family members still live there.

"I've known Keith since I was about 14 years old," said Barron Rivers who is a long time friend of the Scott family.

Rivers says the family found out about the shooting from Keith Scott's wife.

"The reaction to it and especially the part about him having a gun was definitely a surprise," River said. "The family right now is doing the best they can. Everybody right now is really sad about the situation, trying to get information, really trying to get the information."

Rivers remembers Scott to be a good family man who had several brothers and sisters.

"Keith was a guy that basically was good in the community, always known to be somebody who's very quiet, somebody that was always willing to teach and loved the kids," Rivers said.

Rivers says while the family mourns Scott's death, they hope to get some answers from the police department.

"I guess at the end of the day they're looking for transparency," Rivers said.

At a news conference Wednesday morning, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney said the incident started when officers were searching for a suspect Tuesday when they saw Scott exit a vehicle with a handgun. 

Putney said the officers told Scott to drop the gun, and that he got out of the vehicle a second time, still carrying the gun.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney said the story is different than it's been portrayed through social media.

"We're still going through all of the footage from both body-worn and dash," Putney said regarding police video.

According to Chief Putney, Officer Brentley Vinson was not wearing a body camera, but other uniformed officers on scene were. Vinson was reportedly wearing plain clothes and a clearly marked CMPD vest.

"I can tell you a weapon was seized, a handgun," Putney said, "I can also tell you we did not find a book that has been made referenced to."

Others have disputed information that Scott had a gun, saying that he was armed with nothing more than a book. 

The Charleston County School District says Scott attended Harborview Elementary School, James Island Middle School and James Island High school.

Scott does have a criminal record in South Carolina that goes back to 1992.

Scott was arrested 14 times while living in the Tri-County area.

According to the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, his criminal record goes back to 1990.

In July 1992, Scott was convicted of simple assault and was sentenced to a year of probation. In November 1992, Scott was convicted of carrying a concealed gun. He was given a year's probation.

In December 1992, he was convicted of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and given another year of probation.

His last arrest in the Lowcountry was in May 2000 for check fraud in Summerville.

Copyright 2016 WCSC. All Rights Reserved. WBTV/The Associated Press contributed to this report.