'I'm scared': Mother of Feidin Santana, who recorded S.C. police shooting, fears for his safety
The mother of Feidin Santana said she can't help feeling scared after her son has suddenly become front-page news for recording the deadly shooting of Walter Scott with his smartphone.
"I am a little bit in shock, a little bit happy," Odette Santana told Fox News Latino. "It's a lot of mixed emotions."
But she is mostly unsettled, she said, fearing for the safety of her only son.
"I am scared because all this is new to me, I am worried for his safety," she said, and then after a quick pause added: "Maybe it will pass."
Santana, 23, became an instant hero Thursday night after coming forward as the shooter of the video that exposed the killing of Walter Scott, 50, by North Charleston police officer Michael Slager.
Santana, a barber, was walking to work Saturday when he saw a police foot chase and decided to pull out his cell phone when he saw them enter a deserted area. He heard a Taser gun go off and then saw Scott running away from Slager. Santana has said that Scott did not reach out to grab the Taser gun, as the police officer originally stated.
"When I saw the police report [and saw it was] totally opposite to what I had in the video I contacted the family. Before that I had a lot of doubts over whether to do it or not," he told Spanish-language network Telemundo.
Santana, who is a Dominican-born, said that after agonizing over what to do with the video, the next morning he decided to show it to the victim's family — on the condition that they didn't reveal its source.
"I was scared, I am still scared," he told the network.
A few days later, seeing the huge impact of his actions, he decided to reveal his identity — unleashing a social media frenzy. Within the hour, a Fans of Feidin Santana Facebook page was created and quickly loaded with thousands of likes and words of praise.
"You are an angel on earth. Me and mom love you !!! Take care and UR in our prayers. God Bless. Thank you for your bravery. !!!" wrote one fan early on.
Santana himself took to the Facebook page Thursday night to thank the overwhelming support.
His fans are now working on setting up a GoFundMe account to raise money for Santana, a college dropout: "Who else believes he deserves to be rewarded for his actions and serve as a role model for our youth?" wrote the account administrator.
Santana is married and has one child, his mother said. He came to the U.S. at age 13 with his parents and lived in New Jersey and New York before settling in Providence, Rhode Island, where his parents still live. Two years ago he moved to South Carolina.
"He doesn't like the cold," his mother said. "He is happy there."