More than a month after the fatal shooting of 24-year-old Seth Adams, his grieving family’s unanswered questions include why Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Sgt. Michael Custer did not come to his aid.
LOXAHATCHEE GROVES, Fla. -- The Loxahatchee Groves man killed by an undercover Palm Beach County sheriff's officer three weeks ago was shot four times and required 47 minutes to travel 15 miles to an area hospital, medical records released to The Palm Beach Post by an attorney for his family show.
Sgt. Michael Custer shot Seth Adams twice in the chest, once in the abdomen and once in the forearm just before midnight May 16, the records show.
Adams, 24, called his sister-in-law to tell her he'd been shot at 11:41 p.m. He arrived unconscious at St. Mary's Medical Center in West Palm Beach by helicopter at 12:28 a.m. May 17, according to the records .
He died at 1:58 a.m., said Robert Saylor, an attorney for Adams' family.
The new records do little to shed light on the central mysteries of the case - now the subject of an independent state review - in which Adams was killed by Custer in the parking lot of his family's store, A One Stop Garden Shop.
But they provide parts of a clearer timeline of the final hours of Adams' life. What happened during those hours has become increasingly contentious.
Attorneys for the family say that after Adams was shot, sheriff's deputies failed either to help him or stem his bleeding. Instead, they restrained his brother and sister-in-law, who had run to them seeking help after Adams' phone call, the attorneys said.
By then, Adams had crawled about 300 feet - the length of a football field - away from the deputies, Saylor said, and had collapsed in bushes.
Still unknown to the family and public: How did Adams got so far away from Custer after the shooting?
"Seth lay there bleeding, and nobody from the sheriff's office would go down and see if he was OK or render any kind of aid," Saylor said.
Sheriff Ric Bradshaw has said Custer was performing surveillance in the area of A Road and Okeechobee Boulevard, and that he identified himself as a deputy and acted properly. He shot Adams after the two had a confrontation in the garden shop's parking lot.
Bradshaw also said there was no delay in getting Adams help. In an interview Saturday, the sheriff said paramedics were called by radio "immediately" after the shooting.
Before flying him to St. Mary's, paramedics would have needed to examine Adams, then transport him by ambulance to the nearest safe helicopter landing site, sheriff's officials said.
At about 15 miles northeast of the shooting site, St. Mary's is the closer of Palm Beach County's two trauma centers that handled patients flown in by Trauma Hawk. The other, at Delray Medical Center, is about 30 miles southeast of the A Road site.
Palm Beach County Fire Rescue has not yet released information on when it responded and when Adams was transported.
On Friday, Bradshaw asked the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to conduct an independent review of the investigation, citing the unusualness of the case, with no video evidence of what happened and only one alive witness: Custer.
"There's nothing to hide here," Bradshaw said. "We're open to another agency taking a look at it."
While that review takes place, the family has begun requesting records documenting the response to the shooting. And "more than anything, we want to hear Custer's own words about what happened," Saylor said.
If there is proof that the shooting was unjustified, "I can guarantee you that there will be a lawsuit," he added. "But we don't know, until we get those reports."
Staff writer Alexandra Seltzer contributed to this story.
Sunday marked one month since the PBSO-involved shooting death of unarmed Loxahatchee Groves man Seth Adams.
New records shed light on the events and timeline of the shooting incident involving a Loxahatchee Groves man killed by an undercover Palm Beach County sheriff's deputy three weeks ago.
His body riddled with bullets fired by an undercover Palm Beach County sheriff's deputy, Seth Adams was clinging to life as he crawled across a darkened parking lot for help, an attorney representing Adams' family said.