February 16, 2017


WEST PALM BEACH — Lying on his back, bleeding profusely from two bullet wounds in his chest, 24-year-old Seth Adams said he knew he had been shot by a Palm Beach County sheriff’s deputy when another officer arrived at his side, offering help.

“You’re not here to help me. You guys shot me,” sheriff’s Agent Bryan Schumm on Thursday told a federal jury, summing up Adams’ words when he found him at A One Stop Garden Shop in Loxahatchee Groves in May 2012 after he had been shot by sheriff’s Sgt. Michael Custer.

Despite his injuries, which were ultimately fatal, Adams was coherent, Schumm testified in the trial on a multi-million-dollar wrongful death lawsuit Adams’ parents filed against Custer and the sheriff’s office. Shot twice in the chest and once in the arm, Adams ran about 150 yards before collapsing, Schumm said.

The agent, who was part of an undercover team Custer led that was investigating burglaries in the area, said he took off his T-shirt, using it to staunch the blood flowing from Adams’ chest. “I said, ‘Seth, you’re going to be all right. Just keep breathing,’” Schumm told the jury.

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