SUMTER, SC (WIS) - A year ago Wednesday, Sumter police shot and killed a man they thought was involved in a carjacking. The solicitor cleared the officer in the shooting, but the man's family is still demanding answers.
Aaron Jacobs, 24, died year ago when a Sumter officer shot and killed him. Jacobs' family gathered Wednesday morning at the spot where he died to remember him, and to ask investigators to once again take another look at the case.
About 30 of Aaron Jacobs' friends and family met Wednesday morning to make a statement and march along the same path Jacobs walked when Sumter officers encountered him.
The shooting happened along Patriot's Parkway while police were searching for a carjacking suspect. Officers spotted Jacobs walking along the road, and stopped him to question him.
Investigators say Jacobs and Sumter Officer Jason Lyons started wrestling in the road when the officer ripped Jacobs' shirt off, and the man started running across a field.
The officer says Jacobs pulled a gun and pointed it at him. A second officer, Lyons' partner, never saw that.
As Jacobs ran away, witnesses say they saw officer Lyons fire several shots at Jacobs.
"Like crouched-down shooting," said witness Kendrick Miller.
Miller told SLED what he saw as he watched the incident. "[Jacobs] ain't never pointed no firearm, he was more about trying to run away," said Miller. "But I ain't see no weapons on him, he was more about trying to get away from the cops."
"We can't accept, first of all, that they shot him four times in the back like that while he was running away," said Jacob's brother, Eddie Sinkler. "He wasn't posing no threat to them."
Sinkler says officers got caught up in a case of mistaken identity and acted too soon. "Maybe if they just took a couple steps back, or a couple seconds back, he probably would have still been alive here today, because he didn't mean no harm to them," said Sinkler.
Jacobs did have a gun on him that morning, but the solicitor says he couldn't determine whether Jacobs pointed the gun at officer Lyons. That, plus the fact officers thought Jacobs was involved in a carjacking, the solicitor says that gave police the right to use deadly force.
The case isn't closed. The solicitor says he'll take another look if new evidence comes out.