WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - The attorney for a mentally ill man shot by an off-duty Palm Beach County Sheriff's deputy says what investigators say happened is not adding up.
West Palm Beach attorney Wayne Richter says he is hoping the sheriff's office will ask an outside agency to conduct their own investigation.
Richter says Alvarez lost part of two of his fingers from the shooting and was also shot in the stomach. Alvarez remains in the hospital.
"I don't think there is a justified shooting in this case. You've got a young man who is a neighbor of this deputy with no prior criminal history. He is well liked in the community," Richter said Friday.
In a press briefing shortly after the Royal Palm Beach shooting, investigators said Deputy Joshua McGehee was backed into the corner of his garage and fired in self defense when Alvarez attacked him.
But Alvarez's mother, Anna, says the garage was closed when she came out of her home after hearing the gunshots.
"When Ms. Alvarez ran across the street to tend to her son, the garage was down. The only reason the garage door went up is the 911 operator, which the deputy had on speakerphone, told him you need to find a towel or a rag or something to put pressure on the wounds where he is bleeding to stop the bleeding. At that point he put the garage door up and went and retrieved something to put pressure," Richter said.
Alvarez's father, Raul, says he can't believe his across-the-street neighbor would shoot his son.
"My concern is still thinking about the person that shot my son living just across the street," Raul Alvarez. said.
The family's attorney says they've started their own investigation. He questions whether the shooting actually happened in the garage and which direction the deputy was shooting.
The sheriff's office spokeswoman said Friday that Deputy McGehee remains on paid administrative leave.
The office released the following statement: "This is an ongoing investigation. This officer-involved shooting is investigated with our partner, PBC State Attorney’s Office. Once the investigation is complete it will be handed over to the PBC State Attorney’s Office for their review. At that time State Attorney Dave Aronberg will review the investigation and determined if in fact it is justified."
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