Keith Lamont Scott's mother says a motorcycle crash left her son disabled
Protests erupted after a Charlotte police officer shot and killed Scott
Keith Lamont Scott hadn’t lived in his Charlotte, North Carolina, apartment complex for long.
But neighbors say he was the kind of man they got to know quickly.
They told The Charlotte Observer they’d see him walking through the neighborhood daily, with a cane and a book in his hand.
Yolanda Haskins said she often saw Scott sitting inside his truck, waiting in the shade for his son’s elementary school bus to arrive in the afternoon.
That’s what Scott’s family says the 43-year-old man was doing this week when a Charlotte police officer shot him dead.
Police say they were looking for someone with an outstanding warrant when Scott exited the vehicle with a gun and didn’t respond to officers’ orders to drop it – an explanation that his family disputes.
As authorities investigate, the shooting has sparked mounting protests in the city.
A makeshift memorial for Scott is growing in the neighborhood where he was shot, CNN affiliate WBTV-TV reported.
Scott moved there with his wife and seven children over the summer to stay with relatives, Haskins told the Observer.
“They’re just friendly people,” she said.
Family: He became disabled after near-death crash
Scott was in a near-death motorcycle crash last year that left him disabled, family members said.
It’s something relatives and their attorneys have mentioned repeatedly since the shooting, but specific details are still emerging about the nature of Scott’s injuries.
In a cell phone video of the leadup to the shooting released by Scott’s family on Friday, his wife is heard shouting at police that her husband has a TBI, or traumatic brain injury.
“He doesn’t have a gun. He has a TBI. … He is not going to do anything to you guys. He just took his medicine,” Rakeyia Scott says in the video, which she recorded as she looked on.
Scott sustained numerous injuries in the motorcycle crash, his mother said in an interview with CNN affiliate WCSC-TV
“He had some issues with his brain and he had two broken hips and (his) pelvis broke in half and his nose was broken,” Vernita Scott Walker said in an interview with CNN affiliate WCSC-TV. “It caused him to stutter his words and sometimes he couldn’t remember what he said.”
Before the crash, niece Nayshondra Mercer told CNN affiliate WIS-TV, he was a security officer and had a good relationship with law enforcement.
“He didn’t have any bad blood, so to speak, with law enforcement, because he actually worked alongside law enforcement,” she said.
Scott worked security at the Eastridge Mall in Gastonia, North Carolina, from November 2014 to October 2015, according to Robert Barringer, the mall’s head of security.
“He did as he was told” during his shifts, Barringer said.
As he settled into life in Charlotte, Scott often read as he waited for his son’s school bus, according to his mother. And there was one book in particular he treasured: the Quran.
“He loved to read that book,” she said.
Police and Scott’s family offered different accounts of the lead-up to Tuesday’s shooting.
In a Facebook Live video that circulated widely after the shooting, daughter Lyric Scott – who said she did not see the shooting – said her father was reading a book when he was shot and accused police of targeting him because of his race and of planting evidence.
“They shot my daddy ‘cause he’s black,” she said. “He was sitting in his car reading a mother******* book. So they shot him. That’s what happened.”
Police have said they never found a book at the scene but did find a gun. A lawyer for Scott’s family told reporters Thursday that Scott did not own a gun or regularly carry one.
“We still don’t know if there was or was not a gun even there,” attorney Justin Bamberg said.
After viewing police videos of the shooting, Bamberg said it’s impossible to tell what – if anything – Scott is holding in his hands.
In the cell phone video released by Scott’s family, his wife is heard telling police her husband doesn’t have a gun as officers tell him to drop one.
Officials have not responded to CNN’s requests for information about whom the gun was registered to or when it was obtained.
Under North Carolina law, Scott would have been prohibited from owning firearms or ammunition because he had been convicted of a violent felony.
When he was 30, in 2003, a Bexar County, Texas, grand jury indicted him on charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and evading arrest with a vehicle after Scott allegedly shot a man the previous year. Scott pleaded no contest and was sentenced to more than eight years in prison after his 2005 conviction.
He was released in April 2011, Robert Hurst with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice told CNN.
Scott’s mother told WCSC that her son’s past run-ins with the law have nothing to do with this case.
‘My family is devastated’
In a statement released after the shooting, Scott’s wife described him as a “loving husband, father, brother and friend who will be deeply missed every day.”
“My family is devastated,” Rakeyia Scott said, calling for calm and saying that the family would offer more information about her husband in the near future.
At a press conference Thursday, the family’s attorney said they’d hoped to attend the briefing but still found it too emotionally difficult to speak out publicly.
“This family is grieving the loss of someone they care very deeply about. And honestly, this family has questions, and they deserve answers,” Bamberg said.
On her cell phone, Vernita Scott Walker keeps listening to the last voicemail her son left for her.
It came at 2:22 p.m. on the day he was shot, she told WCSC.
It’s quick and hard to hear; it sounds like he could be saying his own name before the phone cuts out. She told the CNN affiliate Thursday that she thinks her son called her after he was shot.
“He just wanted me to know that it was him,” she said.
CNN’s Marylynn Ryan, AnneClaire Stapleton, Dakin Andone, Eliott C. McLaughlin and Lechelle Benken contributed to this report.