Pierre Fulton, the passenger seated in the front seat alongside Walter Scott before he was gunned down, released a statement late Monday, saying, his friend “didn’t deserve to die,” according to AOL.
Until now, no one had heard from Fulton, who remained seated in the vehicle throughout the confrontation on April 4 when Scott, 50, was pulled over by Michael Slager, a North Charleston police officer, due to a broken tail light. As Slager ran a background check, dash cam video shows Scott leaving his car and running away, while Fulton remained seated in the vehicle. Scott’s family speculates that he ran out of fear of going to jail for delinquent child support payments.
“Walter was a dear friend and I miss him every day,” Pierre Fulton said in a statement through his lawyer issued late Monday. “Over the past five years he helped me to become a better man and showed me the value of hard work.”
Fulton can be seen sitting next to Scott in the dashboard camera footage that shows now-fired Patrolman Michael Slager pull over and question Scott. Fulton remained in the vehicle when Scott made his run. A different video clip captured on a cellphone camera shows the moment Slager shot and killed Scott.
“I’ll never know why he ran, but I know he didn’t deserve to die,” Fulton said in his statement. “Please keep Walter and his family in your prayers and respect my privacy moving forward.”
A bystander named Feidin Santana used his cellphone to film Slager firing eight times at Scott, leading to his death. Video footage then shows Slager, 33, dropping something near Scott’s body. Many speculate it was a Taser gun, which Slager told investigators Scott tried to take away from him during an alleged confrontation in which he feared for his life.
Slager was later arrested and charged with murder, and he fired after Santana released his video.