LOXAHATCHEE GROVES, Fla. — The undercover Palm Beach County Sheriff's deputy who three weeks ago fatally shot Seth Adams after a late-night confrontation is back at work, a sheriff's spokeswoman confirmed.
Sheriff's Sgt. Michael Custer was placed on paid administrative leave after the May 16 shooting. On Monday, Custer was assigned to administrative duty, said sheriff's spokeswoman Teri Barbera.
Custer returns to work as Sheriff Ric Bradshaw has asked the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to conduct an independent review of the shooting, which has since stirred controversy in the community and questions from Adams' family.
The sheriff's office will continue its own investigation, and eventually turn it over to the Palm Beach County State Attorney's Office.
Bradshaw has repeatedly defended Custer, saying that the deputy was in fear for his life and thought the 24-year-old Dams, of Loxahatchee Groves, was armed.
Adams came across Custer parked in the parking lot of his family's business at the intersection of A Road and Okeechobee Boulevard, conducting unrelated undercover surveillance, around 11:30 p.m. May 16. Adams lunged at Custer and tried choking him, Bradshaw has said.
He said Adams then looked like he was reaching for a weapon, and in self defense, Custer shot him.
Medical records released to The Palm Beach Post by an attorney for Adams' family shows Custer shot Adams twice in the chest, once in the abdomen and once in the forearm. It took at least 47 minutes to transport Adams 15 miles to St. Mary's Medical Center in West Palm Beach.
The shooting was called out at 11:40 p.m., Barbera said.
Adams called his sister-in-law to tell her he'd been shot at 11:41 p.m. He arrived unconscious at St. Mary's by helicopter at 12:28 a.m. and was pronounced dead at the hospital at 1:58 a.m. May 17, family attorney Robert Saylor said.