Family of a man shot to death by a Palm Beach Sheriff's deputy speaks out against the shooting
11:12 PM, Apr 21, 2013
6:37 AM, Apr 22, 2013
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Patrice Mann gathered Sunday afternoon in the parking lot of the West Palm Beach Marriott Hotel with her two remaining sons and other supporters to say farewell to her middle son, 22-year-old Craig Demps.
"Good person, didn't deserve to die," said Patrice, showing Demps' photo. "Nobody deserves to be shot two times."
Family members and friends held a candlelight vigil in the parking lot where authorities said a Palm Beach County sheriff's deputy shot Demps twice on Saturday, killing him.
Demps' cousin, Denedra Mann, said the family does not agree with the deputy's actions.
"They could have handled the situation differently," Denedra said. "We just want closure."
The sheriff's office said Demps had a criminal history that included aggravated assault, aggravated battery, violation of probation, drugs and fleeing and eluding law enforcement.
Denedra described her cousin as a good person, who had made mistakes.
"He was always smiling, he was just so humble and quiet," said Denedra. "We all act out for some reason or another. In my opinion, they shot to kill."
Demps allegedly carjacked a white pickup truck Saturday morning, then abandoned the truck before running to the West Palm Beach Marriott Hotel. Sheriff Ric Bradshaw said two deputies repeatedly told Demps to show them his hands.
Bradshaw said Demps did not comply, and started lifting his shirt to reach in his waistband for what the deputy thought was a weapon. According to the sheriff's office, what Demps reached for ended up being narcotics. No weapon was found. The deputy who fired his gun has been placed on administrative leave with pay, following standard protocol.
"You're not going to take any chances in these situations," said Bradshaw. "That's why we tell people we want to see your hands, we want you to get on the ground. Compliance is everything right here."
"Compliance is everything," said Denedra, in response to the sheriff's statement. "But Craig's life is everything, and obviously his life wasn't in compliance."