SUMMERVILLE, S.C., April 11 (UPI) -- Hundreds of mourners gathered at a South Carolina church Saturday to remember Walter Scott, a 50-year-old man fatally shot in the back by a police officer during a traffic stop.
Eight North Charleston police officers on motorcycles escorted the hearse carrying Scott's body to the W.O.R.D. Ministries in Summerville, where the funeral was held. About 11:15 a.m., Scott's flag-draped casket was brought into the church. Despite the rain, a steady stream of visitors, including family, friends and local and state officials, gathered nearby.
North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey said he and police chief Eddie Driggers would not attend to avoid creating a distraction, but plan to attend a memorial church service Sunday where the Rev. Al Sharpton is expected to speak.
A week ago, North Charleston Police officer Michael Slager stopped Scott for a broken brake light and Scott took off running. Slager told investigators he and Scott tussled over a Taser and he shot Scott. A video taken by witness Feidin Santana shows Slager shooting Scott eight times in the back as he was running away.
Family members said Scott may have run because he might have been penalized for missing some $18,000 in child support payments. Slager has since been fired from the police department and is facing a murder charge.
The Scott family invited to the media to the funeral, but would not allow inside recording.