Keith Lamont Scott, fatally shot by N.C. cops, warned repeatedly - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Keith Lamont Scott, fatally shot by N.C. cops, warned repeatedly to drop gun: Chief

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(NBC) -

The armed man fatally shot by police in North Carolina on Tuesday was given multiple warnings to drop his weapon, police officials said in the wake of violent late-night clashes between law enforcement and protesters.

"The officers gave loud, clear verbal commands which were also heard by many of the witnesses," Kerr Putney, police chief of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg County Police Department, said at a news conference Wednesday morning, noting that the fatal confrontation unfolded "in a matter of seconds."

The killing of 43-year-old Keith Lamont Scott set off a night of protests and violence that left 16 officers injured as demonstrators threw rocks and blocked a highway, authorities said.

"The extent of injuries varied, but all are minor enough that they would be released," Putney said of the hurt cops.

Scott had been sitting in his car at The Village at College Downs complex near the University of North Carolina at Charlotte when officers arrived before 4 p.m. ET.

They were searching for someone else with an outstanding warrant, Putney said. Officers saw Scott holding a handgun as he exited his car. He returned to his vehicle and then exited again as officers approached him. He posed an "imminent deadly threat," police said in a statement Tuesday.

Putney said officers instructed Scott to "drop the weapon" after he got out of his car, but he failed to comply. He was given aid and taken to Carolinas Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

Scott's family on Tuesday told local news outlets that he was disabled and unarmed. They claimed on social media that he had been reading a book.

Putney said that while a weapon was recovered, no book was found, adding that what police are investigating in the case is a "little different than how it's been portrayed so far on social media."

The officer who fired the fatal shot — later identified as CMPD Officer Brentley Vinson, a member of the force for two years — was placed on administrative leave pending an investigation. Vinson is African-American, reported NBC affiliate WCNC and The Charlotte Observer.

Putney said Vinson was not wearing a body camera, but other officers on scene did have them and their footage was being reviewed along with cruiser dashcams as part of the investigation. There were no immediate plans to make the videos public, he added.

Hundreds of people shut down both lanes of I-85 early Wednesday as police used tear gas to disperse the crowd. The chief said a tractor-trailer was broken into and its contents were set on fire. One person was arrested.

"As always, our officers tried to facilitate demonstrations and protests … but when that behavior becomes violent, aggressive and destructive, we have to act as we did," Putney added.

Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts asked residents to remain vigilant as police continue a review of the shooting and look at any possible criminal charges against those involved.

"We are calling for peace, we are calling for calm, we are calling for dialogue," Roberts said, adding that she's been in touch with the White House and the governor's office.

Scott's family was expected to speak at a news conference later Wednesday morning. 

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