CHESTER, S.C. — Two unnamed Chester police officers shot and killed a man outside a Walmart store on Nov. 23.
Police said Ariane McCree, 28, was a suspected shoplifter who pulled a gun on them.
The McCree family buried their son on Thanksgiving weekend. On Monday, they spoke out for the first time.
The family wants to know why their son was killed, and they have the National Action Network behind them. That's the civil rights group headed by the Rev. Al Sharpton.
McCree's mother, Vickie, sat outside the Chester Police Department surrounded by dozens of family members and holding her son's picture.
"I want to know why they killed my son," she said through tears.
Crime scene tape still dangles from a stop sign on the J A Cochran Bypass nine days after the officer-involved shooting happened in the parking lot outside Walmart and shoppers ran for cover.
McCree’s father, Michael, said he wants to know the whole story.
"It hurts to know nothing. There were people there at Walmart that saw it. Tell us something. Just give us answers to some of these questions that we have," he said.
Three days after the deadly shooting, Chester police released a statement that said McCree had been caught shoplifting.
They said officers detained him inside the store and put him in custody. Police said he then assaulted an officer, ran outside and pulled a gun. Two officers opened fire, killing him, police said.
Questions over those details are growing.
Elder James Johnson heads the South Carolina chapter of the National Action Network
“If he was detained in Walmart, was he searched? Was he handcuffed?" Johnson asked. "They put a lot of innocent citizens in danger by shooting in the parking lot."
The civil rights group is also questioning the use of deadly force on a suspected shoplifter.
They're seeking the surveillance video from the Walmart and the officer's dashcam and body camera video.
South Carolina Law Enforcement Division officials said the investigation is still ongoing and they can't comment.
Chester police referred our calls to SLED The officers involved are still on administrative leave.
© 2020 Cox Media Group