Lake County sheriff stands by deputy shooting man

Family, friends protest shooting death of Andrew Scott

Published On: Jul 20 2012 07:01:45 AM EDT

Lake County residents protested in downtown Tavares on Thursday in response to deputies admitting they shot and killed the wrong man, just after the Lake County Sheriff defended the deputies earlier in the day.

Friends and family of 26-year-old Andrew Scott gathered in the rain to call for the sheriff's office to take responsibility for their mistake. Scott was a deliveryman at Hungry Howie's and many of the protestors were co-workers and customers.

Scott's family and friends say the Sunday morning shooting was a mistake, but Sheriff Gary Borders says it wasn't a mistake when deputies knocked on the wrong door and killed Scott, who was armed.

"That's all we were doing was knocking on a door," Borders said.

Deputies were searching for Jonathon Brown, who parked his motorcycle outside of Scott's apartment.

When Local 6's Nicole Pesecky asked Borders what evidence deputies had that Brown was in the apartment, Borders responded, "The engine was hot, they ran that tag."

"There was a footprint near this apartment so deputies felt the suspect may have entered that apartment," Borders continued.

Deputies said when Scott opened the door he pulled a gun on them, but the deputies didn't identify themselves as LCSO deputies.

"When door was opened deputy had a gun pointed at his face at that point he had to defend himself," Borders said.

Borders said deputies don't always have to identify themselves when they're searching for a suspect and says he backs their decision that night not to announce themselves.

"Again this is an unfortunate situation, but this deputy was put in situation he had to defend himself and that's what he did," Borders said.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is still investigating. Scott's family and fiancee has recently retained attorney Mark NeJame for representation. In a statement released by NeJame's firm, the victim’s family and fiancée say they "wish to express their gratitude for the outpouring of support by the community as they grieve the loss of their loved one, Andrew."