Seth Adams family breaks silence on TV, speaks out about shooting and pending investigation


LOXAHATCHEE, Fla. -- Months after Seth Adams was shot and killed outside his Loxahatchee Groves home by a Palm Beach County Sheriff's deputy, his family members are breaking their silence.

Speaking at the family's business, "A One Stop Garden Shop," it is hard for Adams' brother, David Adams, to think back to the night of May 16.

"Just about everything you look at has Seth's hand on it," said David.

The brothers were not just joined by their garden shop business. David said they were building a dream together.

"We were best friends, we were partners. We were each other's everything. He was my whole life," David said.

But three months ago, the lives of the Adams family were altered when Seth was shot and killed by Sergeant Michael Custer.

Investigators said Custer and Seth got into a verbal altercation after Seth found Custer on the property of his garden shop.

Sheriff's Officer officials said Custer was doing "western community surveillance," when the verbal altercation became physical.

Investigators said Seth lunged for Custer's neck, forcing the sergeant to fire his weapon.

Reports indicated Seth was shot four times and moved nearly 300 feet where he then called his family on his cell phone.

"It was an indescribable night. Just like you're worst nightmare times a million," David said.

On that night, near Okeechobee and A Road, the sky was painted red and blue, stained by the lights of patrol cars. It was a scene ripped right out of a crime scene report.

"We get a crazy phone call that just sounded, like I said, unbelievable. You know we were going off of pure adrenaline," said David.

Medical reports show Seth had been hit twice in the chest, once in the abdomen and once in the forearm.

"When I found him, he was breathing," said David. "Nobody was around him, he was just lying there by himself. I saw blue lights and I thought help was here."

The lights David Adams saw on the outside of his business were those of the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office and it was one of its sergeants who had pulled the trigger.

Investigators said Seth's blood alcohol level showed he was drunk when he found Sergeant Michael Custer parked outside his shop.

Sheriff Ric Bradshaw said Custer was investigating a string of ATM thefts. According to investigators, the two started arguing and escalated to a physical confrontation where deputies said Seth lunged for Custer's neck.

Speaking through their lawyer, the Adams family said they are very disappointed in the findings by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement that reviewed PBSO's investigation and found nothing wrong.


Family members said despite the sheriff's attempts to answer their questions, Sheriff Ric Bradshaw, in their minds, simply made the situation even more clouded in doubt.

Family attorney Brian LaBovick said when Seth asked Sgt. Custer to leave his private property, Custer should have complied with the request. Sheriff Bradshaw on Tuesday stated Seth and Custer exchanged intense words but his deputy was under no obligation to leave.

LaBovick also said Sheriff Bradshaw's comment about Seth's blood alcohol being .131, nearly twice the legal limit, cannot be accurate given how much blood he lost after being shot four times. He said as frustrated as he and the Adams family are with the situation, Monday's findings are not surprising.

"I wanted to believe that something good would come of the report, I wanted to believe that the sheriff would do something different," said LaBovick. "The fact that there was only two people that know what happened that evening between the two of them and one of them is not here to share that story, leads me to believe that the result is the result."

LaBovick said he still needs to meet with the family to figure out their next move. He said his legal team will continue their private investigation and did not rule out filing a civil lawsuit.

David believes his brother most likely told Custer what he tells all trespassers, "You can't park here." He said in his mind, it is not possible to imagine his brother becoming violent.

David continues on living what he calls "the dream" without the man he said created it all.

"Everyday. It's tough just showing up. You know, all the sounds of the golf cart getting up in the morning, just the daily grind that use to be with him all the time," said David.

But David realizes no matter what investigators uncovered, only two people truly know what happened the night his brother died.

"Everybody wants to know the truth. But there's not a whole lot. It doesn't matter what happens. Nothing is going to bring him back. That's what hurts the most, because nothing can fix the situation," said David.

It is a situation

David views is broken, but he said he will keep moving on.

"I'm going to keep trudging along, as hard as it gets, as heavy as my feet get, I'm going to keep walking forward," said David. "I'm his big brother and I'm supposed to protect him and it just kills me that I couldn't protect him."

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