Seth Adams of Loxahatchee Groves, Florida died on Thursday following an altercation with a police officer, according to news reports. Adams, 24, was pronounced dead at St. Mary’s Medical Center in West Palm Beach this morning, a police spokeswoman reportedly said. The police officer who allegedly shot Adams in the chest in an act of self-defense has not been identified publicly; the officer, who was described as a ‘veteran’ by the spokesperson, has been placed on paid administrative leave as an internal investigation of the shooting is conducted. No charges have been filed. It is not clear whether Adam’s family plans on filing a wrongful death suit against the deputy. Adams was reportedly survived by his mother, father, and older brother.
According to press reports, the shooting took place late on Wednesday night near Okeechobee Boulevard and A Road, in the parking lot of A One Stop Garden Shop. Adam’s family reportedly owns the business, and Adams works in an administrative position in the store’s office six days a week. Adams’ family also lives on the property in a trailer, according to reports.
Adams’ family told the press that Adams was out with friends and had returned home at approximately 11:30 p.m. that night. It is not clear whether Adams had been drinking; the spokesperson’s statement does not address alcohol or drugs being a factor in the altercation. When Adams arrived at home, the deputy was reportedly parked in the business’ parking lot, wearing plain clothes. It does not appear as though the deputy was using a marked patrol car at the time, as he had to identify himself as an officer using his badge. It is not entirely clear what the officer was doing in the parking lot, although the sheriff’s spokesperson evidently stated that he was on duty at the time of the shooting. The deputy reportedly used his registered weapon to fire the shot.
The sheriff’s spokesperson purportedly said that as the deputy sat in his parked vehicle, Adams drove his vehicle up to the deputy’s car, presumably to see what the deputy was doing in the parking lot of his family’s business in the middle of the night. The deputy reportedly identified himself as an officer and showed Adams his badge. For unknown reasons, a physical altercation allegedly ensued thereafter. It is not known whether Adams was armed, and the sheriff’s spokesperson did not mention that he had a weapon. She did, however, say that “the deputy, in fear of his life, discharged his duty weapon.”
Adams was shot in the torso, and it is believed that the officer called for medical help. Adams was flown to St. Mary’s Medical Center, where he died at 7:00 this morning of injuries from the shooting. A local reverend who apparently knew Adams told the press that he had been “mild mannered” and said that there was ‘no reason’ for Adams to have been killed. The family apparently moved to Loxahatchee Groves from Albany, New York approximately a year ago.