WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Two days after the May 16, 2011 shooting of Seth Adams, Sergeant Michael Custer sat down with a fellow deputy to give his account of what happened.
The interview is 40 minutes long and was obtained from the Palm Beach County State Attorney's Office on Thursday by the Contact 5 Investigators.
Seth Adams spotted the undercover deputy on his family's property late in the evening on May 16, 2011. The deputy claims Adams approached his car, questioning why the deputy was there in the first place.
Custer says both men allegedly got out of their vehicles and Adams, "grabbed me (Custer) by the throat," he said during the interview with the PBSO deputy. "At that moment there I realized it's a bad situation um and that his intentions were dangerous."
The undercover deputy told investigators the two struggled and that Adams reached for his car door. Sergeant Custer testified under oath that he shut the door on Adams and told him he was under arrest.
According to his account, the deputy was on top of Adams, struggling with him, when he fired multiple shots. "I was very, very convinced he had obtained a weapon," Custer said. "A firearm or anything else and uh as that happened, as we were struggling, you know, I had him kinda in the between the door and the car. I had my firearm on him and as he came around I was very concerned about a weapon and discharged my firearm."
Custer was cleared Wednesday of any wrongdoing. The family of Seth Adams plans to file a civil suit against and sergeant Custer.
Investigative Producer Lynn Walsh contributed to this story.