Zachary Hammond Shooting: Feds Open Civil Rights Investigation Into Police Shooting of Unarmed Teen

Zachary Hammond was shot to death while eating ice cream on a first date.

August 12, 2015, 7:43 PM

— -- The federal government has opened a civil rights investigation into the death of an unarmed teen who was reportedly eating ice cream on a first date when he was shot by police in South Carolina, officials said.

Zachary Hammond, 19, was in the parking lot of a Hardee's in Arden when he was shot around 8:20 p.m. on July 26, according to the Associated Press.

Police say Hammond had driven a 23-year-old woman to the parking lot to buy marijuana from an undercover cop, the AP said.

A police lieutenant says he shot Hammond because he felt threatened as Hammond drove up, the AP said.

The officer and teen are both white, according to the AP.

"This investigation will run parallel to the state's investigation," the Department of Justice said in a statement. "Because this is an ongoing matter, we are not able to comment further at this time."

According to the Post and Courier newspaper, Hammond and the woman were on a first date and eating ice cream on the night of the shooting.

His family maintains that an autopsy shows that Hammond was shot was through the driver's side window from behind, according to the AP.

Hammond's family lawyer, Eric Bland, says the police account is wrong and that the teen was unarmed.

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