VIEWER DISCRETION ADVISED
Seneca, SC (WSPA) – The 10th Circuit Solicitor’s Office has decided not to file charges against Lieutenant Mark Tiller, of the Seneca Police Department, in the shooting death of Zachary Hammond.
Hammond, 19, was shot and killed by Lt. Tiller on July 26th during what, investigators say, was a drug sting in the parking lot of a restaurant. Lt. Tiller has said he fired in self-defense.
Chrissy Adams, who is the 10th Circuit Solicitor, says that she has completed her review of the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division’s (SLED) investigation into the Hammond case. After considering the facts of the case and “a thorough review of the State investigation…[she has] determined that no criminal charges should be filed against Lt. Mark Tiller at the State level,” Solicitor Adams said in a release.
She said she met with the Hammond family Monday and informed them of her decision.
A letter from Solicitor Adams has also been issued to SLED outlining her “prosecutorial decision and closing” of the State’s investigation,” she said.
Seneca City Administrator Greg Dietterick released a written statement about the decision. “While the effects of outside agitators to tear apart our community lingers, we are thankful the investigation has come to an end and shows Lt. Tiller was acting in self-defense,” wrote Dietterick.
Due to a request by United States Attorney Bill Nettle, Adams will not be releasing “any additional information while the federal authorities are making their charging determination.”
Below, you can read the complete statement from Dietterick. He says there will be no more statements on the decision Tuesday from his office or other city administrators:
The past three months have been extremely difficult for the residents of Seneca, its city employees and the 45 members of its police force. While the effects of outside agitators to tear apart our community lingers, we are thankful the investigation has come to an end and shows Lt. Tiller was acting in self-defense. The night of July 26 was a tragic event for this community and I personally will always grieve for the Hammond family. I would like to thank the hard work of the local and state investigators who handled the cases expertly and professionally. I would like to thank Solicitor Adams, who suffered numerous personal attacks, for her diligence. I thank Chief John Covington for his courage and strength during these trying times as he and his family have been repeatedly maligned. I thank our Mayor and City Council for standing with us during this tragedy. It is now time to start healing Seneca.
In a statement released on behalf of Lt. Tiller by his attorney, John M. Mussetto, Tiller “agrees with the outcome of the investigation. As stated from day one, Lt. Tiller acted in self-defense and the decision today supports this position.”