The autopsy results for Willard Scott Jr. of Durham County, N.C., were just released and it shows the 31-year-old Black man was shot in the back by a North Carolina State Trooper. Scott was shot and killed on February 12, 2017 after trooper Jeremy Mathis tried to pull him over for allegedly driving erratically.
Trooper Mathis contends that he was attempting to pull Scott over for driving erratically but Scott refused to pull over. A car chased ensued and after coming to a stop, Scott got out of his car and began running away from the trooper. Mathis chased the fleeing suspect on foot and then shot him as he fled.
The autopsy revealed that Scott was shot in the left lower back and the right buttock. The two wounds Scott suffered, caused “a major aortic injury with massive blood loss.” After being shot, Scott was transported to Duke Regional Hospital, where he died on the operating table.
Details of exactly what transpired are sketchy because Mathis is the sole surviving witness and the North Carolina Highway Patrol have yet to release the footage from Mathis’s patrol cruiser.
The Durham NAACP released a press statement on behalf of Scott’s family and said, “While today’s autopsy provides us with some answers about what happened the evening that NC Highway Patrolman Jeremy Mathis killed Willard Scott, the answers lead to even more questions.”
The family and the Durham NAACP also requested District Attorney Roger Echols and the State Bureau of Investigation conduct a full investigation and release any video, audio, or other documentation to the family. That Echols prosecute Mathis to the fullest extent of the law, as warranted by the investigation. And that the Highway Patrol implement de-escalation training to ensure that traffic stops do not become death sentences.