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October 24, 2014

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erik scott coroner’s inquest:

Day 3 blog: Witnesses back officers’ decision to shoot Erik Scott

Girlfriend calls police ‘aggressive’ in recording, but a no-show at inquest

Image

Steve Marcus

A photo of a handgun that was said to belong to Erik Scott is displayed during a coroner’s inquest for Scott at the Regional Justice Center Friday, September 24, 2010.

Updated Friday, Sept. 24, 2010 | 6:21 p.m.

Erik Scott Coroner's Inquest - Day 3

Costco shopper Barbara Fee demonstrates how she saw Erik Scott raise his right arm toward a Metro Police officer as she testifies during a coroner's inquest for Erik Scott at the Regional Justice Center Friday, September 24, 2010. Launch slideshow »

Erik Scott Coroner's Inquest - Day 2

Metro Police Officer William Mosher testifies about shooting Erik Scott during a coroner's inquest at the Regional Justice Center Thursday, September 23, 2010. Launch slideshow »

Erik Scott Coroner's Inquest - Day 1

Bill Scott, Erik Scott's father, listens to testimony during a coroner's inquest at the Regional Justice Center Wednesday, September 22, 2010. Launch slideshow »

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  • Unidentified caller from within Costco talking to dispatchers
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  • Shai Lierley on the phone with dispatchers
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  • Metro Police radio traffic during the July 10 officer-involved shooting that left Erik Scott dead
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Costco shopper Barbara Fee demonstrates how she saw Erik Scott raise his right arm toward a Metro Police officer as she testifies during a coroner's inquest for Erik Scott at the Regional Justice Center Friday, September 24, 2010.

5:24 p.m.

The inquest has adjourned for the day. Proceedings will begin again at 8 a.m. Saturday.

The last witness to testify today was Barbara Fee, who was waiting in line with her granddaughter when they were told to evacuate the store.

Her granddaughter pointed out that there was an officer with a gun by the door.

Fee said she heard the officer yelling at Scott to get down, but he didn't.

She saw Scott reach for something on his side and then bring his right hand up and point something directly at the officer.

Fee said she couldn’t tell what was in Scott’s hand, but his hand was pointed, “directly at the cop.”

The officer fired, and she looked away while pushing her granddaughter behind her, Fee said.

When she looked back, she saw Scott face-down on the ground and a black object on the ground.

After the shots were fired, she heard a woman screaming, “You shot him, you killed him.”

Fee said she was worried Scott was going to shoot the officer.

“I was hoping he wasn’t going to shoot the cop, but with a gesture like that I thought somebody was going to get shot,” she said.

She told police after the shooting that she didn’t think the officer had any option to shoot Scott.

“Thank God the officer was faster,” she said in her statement to police.

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Christopher Villareale, right, who was shopping at Costco the day of the shooting and also is a concealed weapon permit holder, testifies during a coroner's inquest for Erik Scott at the Regional Justice Center Friday, September 24, 2010. Chief Deputy District Attorney Christopher Laurent is at far left.

5:15 p.m.

Christopher Villareale was shopping at Costco the day of the shooting and also is a concealed weapon permit holder.

Villareale said he was one of the last people to leave the store and wasn't far from Scott when he was shot.

He testified that an officer yelled at Scott to get on the ground, “And Mr. Scott is just standing there not doing anything.”

Scott then lifted his shirt with his left hand and someone yelled “no, no,” Villareale said.

Scott then pulled his right arm forward with a gun in his hand, he said.

Villareale said it appeared to him that Scott was holding the gun by the handle, but he couldn't tell if the gun was in a holster since the gun was black.

The officer shot Scott, who turned, dropped the gun, was shot again, then fell to the ground.

Scott’s girlfriend yelled before the shooting that Scott was in the military, and once shots were fired, she became hysterical, Villareale said.

Villareale said he was involved in an incident previously in which he had to pull a gun on somebody, then deal with police when they arrived, so he has safely disarmed with a police officer present.

But Scott didn't respond in a similar and appropriate way, he said.

"He was acting in a way that I would think was not consistent with what would be the appropriate way to act in that situation," Villareale said.

He said he knew the officer thought someone could be harmed during the situation.

"I thought he did the right thing shooting him," Villareale said.

When asked during a question from an interested party, Villareale said it didn't look like Scott was going to hand the gun to the police, but he also didn't point the gun at the officer.

When shown a photo of the gun on the ground outside the store, Villareale said it was the same gun that Scott dropped.

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Arlene Houghton, a Costco cashier, testifies during a coroner's inquest for Erik Scott at the Regional Justice Center Friday, September 24, 2010.

4:44 p.m.

Arlene Houghton, another Costco cashier, also testified she saw Scott and his girlfriend while they were entering the store.

She said they walked behind her register, coming from the membership desk, when Scott tripped and fell on the belt by the register, even though there was nothing to trip over.

His girlfriend grabbed Scott and propped him up on the shopping cart for support, Houghton said.

Scott looked up at Houghton and said “I guess I really am ('messed') up,” Houghton said, adding that his eyes were glossy.

About an hour later, Houghton said she was near the cash registers helping to evacuate customers when she heard gunshots.

She went toward the entrance and saw a police officer holding a gun so she stayed inside the store, she said.

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John Nikitas, a Costco cashier, testifies during a coroner's inquest for Erik Scott at the Regional Justice Center Friday, September 24, 2010.

4:24 p.m.

John Nikitas, a Costco cashier, said he saw Erik Scott and a woman walk through the store. He heard Scott say to the woman that he shouldn’t have been in the store while he was drunk, Nikitas said.

He saw Scott knock a “closed” sign off a counter when he walked by, he said.

After being told to evacuate the store, Nikitas said he saw police officers outside.

The officers told Scott to put his hands up and get on the ground, Nikitas said. He said Scott did neither.

He was 40 to 45 feet away when Scott left the building, but the officers were loud so he was able to hear them, he said. Another employee dropped to the ground after hearing the officer, he said.

Scott moved his hand toward his right side and the officers fired at him, he said.

Nikitas said the woman with Scott started screaming after shots were fired. He didn't see a gun fall from Scott's body, but he saw it on the ground later, he said.

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Costco shopper Wentworth Eatherton testifies during a coroner's inquest for Erik Scott at the Regional Justice Center Friday, September 24, 2010.

3:27 p.m.

Wentworth Eatherton, the husband of the previous witness, Annette, said he called into a public radio program recently when he heard Scott’s father and attorney saying things about the shooting that he said weren't true.

Eatherton said they claimed the police didn't need to shoot Scott and that the police were only 2 feet away, but that wasn’t true, he said.

Eatherton recalled words he heard Scott say while in the aisle at Costco.

"As we went by, Annette and I heard him say, 'well, I can do this in Texas.'" He and his wife talked about what that could mean as they walked down the sporting goods aisle and headed for the lettuce.

Wentworth said he told his wife that the only thing he could think of was that it was a reference to a gun.

"He was acting like he was irritated about the conversation (with the Costco employee)," he said.

Wentworth said that inside the store, he didn't see if Scott had a gun on him.

Eatherton said outside the store they heard an officer tell Scott “don’t touch it,” and “get on the ground.”

He saw Scott move his hand on his right side, then the officer shot him.

After he was shot, he saw a gun in a “gun rug” fall from Scott’s right side and slide about 4 feet in front of him.

He said he later noticed the gun was gone.

Eatherton said the gun in a holster shown to him in a photo by Chief Deputy District Attorney Christopher Laurent wasn't the gun he saw.

2:58 p.m.

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Costco shopper Annette Eatherton testifies during a coroner's inquest for Erik Scott at the Regional Justice Center Friday, September 24, 2010.

Las Vegas resident Annette Eatherton was shopping at Costco when she saw Scott in the store and then again outside when he was shot.

Eatherton said she and her husband saw Scott talking to another man in the store where Scott was trying to fit bottles into a bag.

After they were told to evacuate, they went to the front of the store and saw Scott and a police officer.

The officer told Scott to get down on the ground, but Scott moved his hand from the front of him toward his right hip, Eatherton said.

The officer yelled “don’t do that,” but Scott continued to move toward his hip, she said.

The officer then shot Scott, she said. Scott turned after he was shot and fell.

The officer was calm and professional, but was stern, she said.

Scott’s gun, in its holster, fell and slid on the ground toward the officer after Scott was shot, Eatherton said. She heard a woman with Scott screaming after he had been shot.

2:34 p.m.

The assistant store manager who confronted Erik Scott before Scott was shot testified that the man was acting strangely, his eyes were glossed over and “he did not seem right.”

Vince Lopez was called over to talk to Scott by Shai Lierley, a loss prevention supervisor who testified Thursday. On his way to talk to Scott, an older couple approached him and told him they were concerned about a man, who was Scott.

Lopez said he approached Scott and asked him what he was doing. Scott said he was trying to get water bottles to fit in a bag, but Lopez said Scott was trying the same type of bottles over and over again, even though they obviously would not fit, and he had opened multiple packages.

Lierley pointed out that Scott had a gun and Lopez backed off before approaching again to tell Scott that Costco does not allow guns since it is private club and not open to the public, he said.

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Costco assistant manager Vince Lopez testifies during a coroner's inquest for Erik Scott at the Regional Justice Center Friday, September 24, 2010. Lopez said Scott made what he perceived as a threatening gesture.

Scott became irritated when Lopez told him about the policy, Lopez said. Scott became agitated and began using foul language, he said.

That is when he noticed that Scott’s eyes were glazed over.

Scott held his hands in the shape of a gun and pointed them at Lopez’s head, saying that if someone came in and held a gun to his head that he would take care of it, Lopez said.

Lopez said he was concerned and left Scott alone because he was worried about Scott’s actions.

By then, Lierley was on the phone with 911 and told Lopez to go to the front of the store. The officer told Lopez to not let anyone else in the building and to evacuate the people inside.

Lopez said he then left to help the evacuation and was in the back of the store when he heard gunshots.

In a question submitted by an interested party, Lopez was asked if he felt threatened by Scott.

“He was acting in a very threatening manner when I was talking to him, yes,” Lopez said.

Lopez testified this wasn't the first time the video system had malfunctioned.

"We have had problems off and on with our system," he said.

In fact, it has malfunctioned recently.

"It hasn't worked the past few days -- we just got it back up and running yesterday," he said.

He said he knew of some Costco stores that had no video surveillance at all.

"The security cameras aren't something that we rely on to do our day-to-day business," he said.

Lopez said a number of people would have access to the video equipment before it was taken to see if the video could be recovered, but the managers were told not to touch it.

1:57 p.m.

The coroner’s inquest has resumed after an hour lunch break.

The district attorney is playing the recording of an interview with another Costco customer who lives outside the United States.

Caroline Lagerholm, from Sweden, was visiting when she was at the store and saw police at Costco.

She said she saw a man with his shirt up and a gun at his waist.

Lagerholm said she heard the police officer tell the man to put the gun down, but she saw the man reaching for the gun.

She then turned to run when she heard gunshots, but she didn't know who fired.

Lagerholm said the man was moving kind of slowly as she watched him from near a pillar outside a store. She thought he could have been on drugs, and told the officer the man was "kind of weird-acting."

She said she thought she heard the officer give the man commands.

"I think he said, 'put the gun down, put the gun down.'"

12:42 p.m.

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A portion of a transcript from a recorded interview with Lisa Holzgruber, a foreign exchange student, is displayed during a coroner's inquest for Erik Scott at the Regional Justice Center Friday, September 24, 2010.

Lisa Holzgruber, a foreign exchange student, was at Costco when she was told by an employee to evacuate.

Holzgruber did not appear at the inquest since she is out of the country, but the district attorney played a recording of an interview with her conducted by police the day of the shooting.

She was outside the store when she saw a police officer and a man near the store's entrance. The man lifted his shirt and she saw a gun in his waistband, Holzgruber said.

The man was “going for the gun with his hand,” she said.

She then heard gunshots and started to run.

Holzgruber said she couldn’t tell what the man was doing; he may have been drawing his gun or maybe he was going to give the gun to the officer, she said.

She said she thinks she heard the officer tell the man to drop the gun, but she wasn't sure.

The inquest is now adjourned an hour for lunch.

12:30 p.m.

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Javier Torres, a Costco manager, testifies during a coroner's inquest for Erik Scott at the Regional Justice Center Friday, September 24, 2010. Torres also testified that he thought Scott may have been on drugs and was not acting normal.

Javier Torres, a Costco manager, said he saw Scott on his hands and knees in an aisle at the store trying to put bottles into a cooler.

But before he could approach Scott, he says Scott turned and asked him if Costco sold the holders for the bottles. Torres told him no, and Scott seemed a little irritated, Torres said.

Torres said he noticed other store employees were watching Scott, so he left.

“He wasn’t acting normal,” Torres said. Scott seemed agitated, maybe nervous, and possibly impaired.

"He seemed like he was on drugs to me," he said. "I'm not sure what kind of drugs."

Torres later heard instructions to evacuate the store. He was going toward the front of the store when he heard the gunshots, but he didn't see the shooting.

Torres said he didn't think the evacuation was because of Scott; he figured it was because of a bomb threat or something else. Torres said Scott didn't seem violent and he didn't see a gun.

12:10 p.m.

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Jerome Dwight Arcano, a Costco employee, testifies during a coroner's inquest for Erik Scott at the Regional Justice Center Friday, September 24, 2010. Arcano said he thought Scott might be on drugs.

Jerome Dwight Arcano, a Costco employee, testified that he saw Scott in an aisle at the store throwing things on the ground and trying to tear a box.

“He was acting unusual,” and he seemed paranoid, pacing the aisle like he was worried about someone watching him, Arcano said.

He also said Scott had a red mark on his neck and he thought Scott might be on drugs.

Arcano reported what he saw to management and left the area, he said.

He later heard the store was being evacuated. Arcano said he and other employees and customers ran to the back of the store because they didn't know what was happening.

Javier Torres, a manager at Costco, began testifying after Arcano.

11:47 a.m.

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Linda Bem, the Costco employee who helped Scott sign up for a Costco membership, testifies during a coroner's inquest for Erik Scott at the Regional Justice Center Friday, September 24, 2010. Bem said Scott had a hard time understanding her instructions and filling out the forms.

Linda Bem, the Costco employee who helped Scott sign up for a Costco membership earlier that day, is testifying.

Bem said Scott had a hard time understanding her instructions and filling out the proper forms.

Scott’s thought process seemed not to be working correctly, she said. Scott was able to have a conversation, but his responses were not as quick as they should have been, she testified.

His handwriting was illegible and he was writing things in the wrong places, Bem said. Scott then had his girlfriend fill out the form for him and she had no problems.

Scott seemed agitated, but wasn't violent, Bem said. She noticed Scott’s knuckles were bleeding.

Bem reported the odd incident to her supervisor.

“I sensed something was terribly wrong,” she said. “He was confused, his thought processes were very, very slow ... Quite frankly, I was worried about him.”

Bem later evacuated the store and heard shots, but didn't see the shooting.

11:40 a.m.

In a recorded interview, Scott’s girlfriend, Samantha Sterner, describes what happened at Costco on July 10.

Sterner said she saw Scott talking to a store employee, but “he was not irritated. The Costco employee did not seem irritated. Neither one of them was hostile.”

She said neither one of them threw anything in the store. Scott went to get another shopping cart, then an employee told her to evacuate, she said.

Scott returned and they agreed to walk out to the car and drop off the gun. She said while they were walking out of the store, they saw a police officer.

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Chief Deputy District Attorney Christopher Laurent listens as a recorded interview with Erik Scott's girlfriend, Samantha Sterner, is played during a coroner's inquest for Erik Scott at the Regional Justice Center Friday, September 24, 2010.

“He immediately draws his weapon, immediately, without hesitation,” Sterner said in the recording.

The officers told Scott to get on the ground, she said. Scott put his hands above his head, tried to tell the officer he was going to disarm and then slowly moved his right hand down to the gun, Sterner said.

Sterner said she kept screaming at the officer: “'Do not shoot, he’s a concealed weapons holder, he’s a military officer, do not shoot.'”

“I said it a million times,” she said.

She said the officer shot Scott once, then Scott started to fall back before the officer shot him twice more. She said she didn't see any other officers fire.

Sterner said in the recording she thinks the officer would have fired no matter what Scott did.

“He was extremely aggressive from the get-go,” she said. “I just think this officer was out of line.”

Sterner also said Scott never held the gun by the handle and it never came out of the holster, but he did hold the front of the gun to try to disarm.

11:03 a.m.

Falkner said he tried to contact Scott’s girlfriend, Samantha Sterner, but the phone number he had for her was not working. He left a subpoena with a man who said he was her brother at an address he found for her.

Falkner then said he contacted family attorney Ross Goodman, who said he wasn't sure if she would appear.

Since she never was found, she wasn't legally served with a subpoena to appear.

Falkner said he also ran into Goodman at the courthouse and asked him to provide a list of witnesses, but Goodman has not done so, Falkner said.

Goodman has told the media he has other witnesses to the shooting who haven't been contacted by the district attorney’s office.

The attorneys are now playing a recording of an interview done with Sterner on the day of the shooting.

“He carries a gun everywhere he goes. This has never happened before,” Sterner said in the recording after describing being asked to evacuate the store by a Costco employee.

10:46 a.m.

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William Falkner, investigative supervisor for the District Attorney's Office, testifies during a coroner's inquest for Erik Scott at the Regional Justice Center Friday, September 24, 2010. Falkner described his efforts to contact Erik Scott's girlfriend and other witnesses.

Erik Scott’s girlfriend was subpoenaed to appear at today's coroner's inquest, but has not done so, said William Falkner, an investigator in the district attorney's office.

Falkner had asked Ross Goodman, the Scott family attorney, if there were any other witnesses he wanted to testify.

Reports have indicated Goodman has 20 to 30 witnesses to testify, but he has not provided a list of them to the DA despite being asked in phone messages and in person.

The inquest is taking a 10-minute break.

10:27 a.m.

William Falkner, an investigator in the district attorney's office, is next to testify.

Mosher has finished answering questions from interested parties. About 200 questions were submitted for Mosher, many with multiple parts, but not all were asked by the judge, who said some had already been answered or weren't appropriate.

Mosher said he didn't expect Scott to walk out of the store. “We were in a standby mode waiting,” he said.

The officers were waiting for their sergeant and more officers to arrive before coming up with a plan to enter the store and make contact with Scott, possibly with a shield and some less-lethal weapons, Mosher said.

Mosher described the gun recovered at the scene as a Kimber 9mm, still in its holster. He said he believes the holster is manufactured by Uncle Mike's, and it is similar to one he owns for one of his guns.

The holster is made of cloth, he says. Although he personally hasn't tried it, he said he believes a person could slip their finger inside the holster and fire the gun without removing it from the holster.

A second firearm was found on Scott's body by medical personnel in the ambulance while he was being taken to UMC, Mosher said he later learned.

10:19 a.m.

When questioned about why he didn't use a nonlethal method to resolve the situation with Scott, Mosher said, "We're not trained to subdue people with a firearm with nonlethal means."

Asked if he ever used his crisis skills with Scott, Mosher said, “I would like to have done that and taken him into custody without this happening, but there was no chance to do that.”

The officer said he drew his weapon before reaching the store entrance.

Mosher said he knelt on Scott’s back to handcuff him. He didn't see a large amount of blood, but he did see bullet holes.

Most other people in the area got away quickly when they saw the officers with their guns drawn, Mosher said.

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Ross Goodman, attorney for the Scott family, speaks to the court during a coroner's inquest for Erik Scott at the Regional Justice Center Friday, September 24, 2010.

10:04 a.m.

One question from an interested party -- which includes Erik Scott's family and Ross Goodman, the family's attorney -- asked Officer William Mosher if it was typical for an officer to pull his weapon several hundred times in a few years. Mosher said it is normal for a Las Vegas officer to pull his weapon frequently.

Asked what makes someone a deadly threat, Mosher said: “Their actions.”

But Scott was not a threat until he reached for his weapon, Mosher said.

“As soon as he reached for it, he was a deadly threat,” he said.

Mosher said he followed procedure to handcuff Scott after he was shot, but did not follow procedure to search the body because he felt Scott was already deceased and he did not want to move the body. He did not think Scott would be taken to the hospital, he said.

He also said there were only a few officers at Costco to deal with a large crowd of people that had gathered and what had become an active crime scene. He took charge as senior officer to assign other officers to put up crime scene tape and move Scott’s girlfriend, who was screaming, Mosher said.

9:43 a.m.

Under questioning, Mosher describes himself as a believer in the 2nd Amendment and says he is a member of the National Rifle Association.

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Metro Police Officer William Mosher testifies for a second day during a coroner's inquest for Erik Scott at the Regional Justice Center Friday, September 24, 2010.

"I think CCW is a great thing," he said.

However, Mosher said it is illegal in Nevada to carry a weapon when under the influence of drugs or alcohol, so police had an obligation to investigate the calls they received about Scott.

The officers had been told Scott might have been high and Mosher said he noticed the man’s bloodshot eyes.

Mosher testified that he didn't administer CPR to Scott after the shooting and he didn't see anyone else perform CPR.

He also said he had been told Scott refused to leave the business, but the main motivation for his response was because of the way he was acting in the store and the fact that he had a weapon.

9:22 a.m.

Metro Police Officer William Mosher, one of three officers who shot Erik Scott, said he is a member of Metro's crisis intervention team and has gone through extra training to deal with situations that might involve people with mental issues.

Normally he would try to talk to a suspect in an incident, Mosher said, but since Scott had a gun, he said that wasn't possible.

“With the details we had and the fact that he had a weapon, that’s not really the time to talk,” Mosher said.

He also said he only observed Scott’s behavior for about 30 seconds between the time Scott was pointed out to him and shots were fired.

Mosher, who is a Marine, said Scott, a West Point graduate, should have known how to safely surrender a weapon to an officer, but he didn't act in an appropriate way.

One of the written questions directed at Mosher asked if he felt any remorse for shooting and killing Erik Scott.

He responded: "Remorse? Absolutely."

8:50 a.m.

The coroner’s inquest into the shooting death of Erik Scott on July 10 outside a Summerlin Costco has started for the day.

Officer William Mosher, one of three Metro officers who shot Scott, has returned to the stand to answer questions submitted to Judge Tony Abbatangelo by interested parties.

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Chief Deputy District Attorney Christopher Laurent, left, confers with Assistant District Attorney Chris Owens during a coroner's inquest for Erik Scott at the Regional Justice Center Friday, September 24, 2010.

8:42 a.m.

The coroner's inquest into the death of Erik Scott by Metro Police is running behind schedule this morning.

The jurors and judge entered the courtroom just before 8:40 a.m. The proceedings were to begin at 8 a.m., but at 8:30 a.m. court officials were testing audio in an overflow room. Inside the courtroom, officials with the district attorney's office and Scott family attorney Ross Goodman were waiting before the arrival of the judge and jury.

Officer William Mosher’s testimony is scheduled to resume this morning with questions from interested parties, which includes the Erik Scott family and Goodman. Mosher is one of the three officers who fired his weapon at Scott, killing him.

Scott was killed July 10 at the Summerlin Costco.

Also, it's been learned that an agenda item has been filed with the Clark County Commission regarding the inquest process. Commissioner Steve Sisolak filed the item for the board's Oct. 5 meeting.

Sisolak's request says the item is "to discuss and make recommendations regarding the Coroner's Inquest Process, Clark County Code 2.12.080. This discussion is meant to include possible changes to said code, the possible formation of an advisory committee to make recommendations in this regard and/or the presentation of various processes that are currently in place in other jurisdictions, and other areas or issues related to the coroners inquest process which may be presented. This item is meant for discussion purposes, staff direction and possible action."

The Scott family, through its attorney, responded by releasing a statement at 6:43 a.m. today.

"We are very excited with the request by Commissioner Sisolak to place this item on the October 5th agenda to begin the discussions and consider the recommendations for change to the Coroner's Inquest Process. The process we have experienced over the last two days limit's our ability to find the truth by properly questioning witnesses regarding their testimony. We do not have the knowledge of their recorded statements. Challenging the last few day's testimony with facts that we know to be true is not possible given this process. We thank Commissioner Sisolak and the other Commissioners who will support this request. It is our hope that the Commission can find a place to give credit to our son Erik. His death then would not have been meaningless, but rather a catalyst for improving the Coroner's Inquest process for the community of Las Vegas."

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  1. All these cops have to say is that I was in fear of my life, and he made a furtive movement and they get a free pass.

  2. You know i am glad the testimony is coming out the way it is. everyone has been condemning the cops. the family has been paying for ad space on billboards. listen your son obviously had emotional problems and on top of that he was carrying a gun. he was in some sort of distress. SO THE COPS DEFENDED THEMSELVES. they have that right.. I am sorry for your families loss however i am sure you knew there were problems. how does one get ahold of so many drugs?

  3. I do not think any cop should be going to jail over this. I think there are problems throughout the system. Mosher did not leave his house intending to kill someone, it is just a serious of very unfortunate events. That is what training and regulations are for. Mosher should not be on the force. The other two shooters are just YOUNG and started firing in reaction. NONE OF THEM should have been in this situation, the three of them should be still perfecting how to write a proper traffic ticket.

  4. I want to know why so many of the above posters here and on other strings relating to this story are condemning the actions of Officer Mosher in this situation? Have any of YOU been in the same situation? Have any of YOU had to make a split second decision involving your life and the lives of others?

    It's easy to pass judgment when no one knows all the facts. For the store employee(s) to call 911 meant something. They felt that Mr. Scott was a threat in some way and acted accordingly. They didn't do it because the customer is upset over the price of something. Say what you will about store clerks, but calling 911 is the last resort to a situation that regular store security cannot handle. There was a reason for it. It wasn't done because Mr. Scott was just "carrying". There was more to it. Believe it or don't.

    I'm not saying Mr. Scott deserved to die, but all of you, who are so quick to judge Metro and point out so many things like quotes from the Constitution from time to time to saying there is a conspiracy starting with Costco and Metro to getting the Feds involved, no one knows anything more than anyone else at this point. That is why there is this inquest.

    It's like one huge lynch mob on these boards waiting to lynch up the next cop who does his job regardless. And like I stated in another thread - if the deceased was some illegal gang banging drug dealer - you'd all be going "go Metro for doing your jobs". It seems in this situation you're all just waiting to hear that you are all right in assuming the cops were wrong in this when it very well may prove they were right.

    Wait until ALL the evidence is in and ALL the witnesses speak before passing judgment.

  5. Based on testimony I heard Mosher walked up behind Erik and grabbed his right arm without stating he was the police first. Erik may have felt someone was making an attempt to grab his gun which would put him into a defensive position resulting in him trying to maintain control of it. Why did the police feel it necessary to ambush a shopper leaving a store versus walking up to him and talking to him? He had not threatened anyone in the store AND stated he was permitted to carry a weapon which the police knew upon arrival.

  6. So the girlfriend chickened out. And don't you conspiracy hacks say Metro threatened her NOT to testify. Maybe Scott's family did. But she was subpoenaed. She is going to have to show up at some point.

  7. It's the police use of force training that is the cause of this murder of Eric Scott. The police have been primed to kill, and then evaluate a situation, our police have said so. The argument that the police do not intend to kill someone when they get out of bed in the morning has absolutely no meaning, when one understands the training these police officers get. Police Officer William Mosher apparently, unable to think while under stress, gave commands to drop the gun, and then murdered Eric Scott when Scott was compiling with those commands. After the fact, Police Officer William Mosher that he didn't even remember that he gave those commands. Yes folks, we do have a murder. But the people responsible for these murders are those people who drafted and approved the current police use of force policies, the people who provided the training, and those in political and judicial powers who allowed these polices to stand. It is time for the Citizens to call for a change in these "Police use of force", tactics.

  8. "The police have been primed to kill"

    Your words are bit heavy handed. All police are trained that if you must unholster your gun, be prepared to use it. They are NOT "primed to kill". Cops are trained to use their weapons ONLY if necessary. They are faced with making serious decisions in a split second. Decisions that most people here are not even capable of thinking of, let alone experiencing. It's easy to talk "murder" when you are sitting at home on your computer passing judgment on an incident you were not witness to. It seems every witness so far has been credible - except the girlfriend. She is no where to be found. BS to that. If she wants her boyfriend's death to be vindicated, don't you think she would have wanted to be a witness?? To be at this inquest? For the Scott family if anyone? She was there. She knows what happened both inside and outside the store.

  9. Det_Munch wrote : "Your words are bit heavy handed."

    Not heavy handed at all . . . I spoke the truth and so did you.

    You also wrote: "All police are trained that if you must unholster your gun, be prepared to use it"

    The Officer had already as you said unholstered his gun, and he was primed to use it. He didn't spend much time figuring out if Eric Scott was a danger, he just shot him and his fellow officers followed his lead.

  10. <Scott put his hands above his head, tried to tell the officer he was going to disarm and then slowly moved his right hand down to the gun...>

    Therein lies Mr. Scott's fatal mistake. He should have known better; should have just got down as instructed and NOT reach for the gun.

  11. lemahj:

    Very rarely are police instructed to "shoot to kill" but sometimes the alleged bad guy does get killed. It is in extreme circumstances that that order is issued. My ex always told me they were instructed to aim for areas that would maim and not kill such as an arm,leg, shoulder, knees. Places to neutralize the person so they can't run or endanger anyone else. (But then this is old school police training; maybe today and especially in Vegas they are trained differently). Those "shoot to kill" orders are only reserved for extreme cases, ie a most wanted fugitive, cop killers (personal preference on the "shoot to kill" order - you kill a cop and they find you, you won't live to see another minute) a murderer, members of Al Quaida or any terrorist.

    And I agree with your statement that the cop didn't spend much time assessing the situation before gunning down Mr. Scott. But again --- when Scott reached for his gun, even though he was "surrendering" -- that sealed it. He never should have done that; he knew better.

  12. I forgot to add that when a gun is pointed at a cop or there is a possibility a gun is going to be aiming at a cop, yes, instinct takes over and the one holding the gun at the cop is not going to end up in a good way. Do I think Metro over reacted to Mr. Scott? In hindsight - yes; but at the time - no.

  13. Bottom line is none of us saw what happened. We all have opinions but they are just that, opinions, not facts.

    There are many more witnesses yet and each of them will see something different depending on where they where and what their frame of mind was at the time.

    Many of the posters here seem to think all cops are bad, not the case. we don't know that this cop is bad.

    Facts will come out and my personal opinion is this is being set for a lawsuit no matter how it comes out.

    Many things are not right with what has been said so far but saving my full opinion until I hear more out of the mouths of people that saw what happened.

    Wondering why Mr. Goodman has not turned in his list of witnesses and why the girl friend did not show up for court?

  14. vegaslee

    Couldn't agree more. Also, I, too, was wondering why Goodman didn't turn in his witness list. What also just occurred to me, in the girlfriend's taped interview, it sounds as if she was not with him the whole time in the store. She says things like "she saw Scott talking to a store employee". If you are WITH the person, you would say "Eric talked to a store employee". Then "Scott went to get another shopping cart, then an employee told her to evacuate". Don't know about anyone else, but when shopping with your "significant other", you kinda stay together in the store. But then like most couples - one goes one way and the other goes the other. Or maybe she wanted to distance herself from him because he was acting like a jerk. Who knows and we probably will never know. But it seems strange she did not show up to testify. AND they can't seem to find her! I guess it's one thing to say things over the phone without looking at the person asking the questions, and another answering those questions in person. I also don't buy any of the arguments that will surface about her being "too distraught" to testify. If it was MY boyfriend that was wrongly gunned down by the police, I sure as hell would want to tell my side of the story for BOTH of us.....

  15. Where there are 2 sides to a story, the truth usually lies somewhere in the middle.

    Boys & girls, can you say "Civil Suit"?
    Sure. I knew you could.
    Can you say "a really big number"?
    Very good, boys & girls.

  16. After watching the inquest for the past 3 days it's painfully obvious that Mr.Scott made some really bad judgment calls leading up to his death. The whole point of a CCW is not so much to hide your weapon from a would be attacker as it is to keep from instilling fear in the public. His biggest mistake was loosing his temper. Cooler heads will always prevail. That being said, I understand how a high pressure situation that calls for a split second reaction could lead to someone being shot 7 times...by a citizen. I would expect more restraint from a law enforcement officer who is trained to expect the worst from even the most simple traffic stop (never let your guard down). I can assure you that if you shoot an armed intruder in your home twice in the chest and then two other family members shoot the same person five times in the back, you'll be facing more than a fact finding inquest.

  17. Sorry lvmp1066, we now get a picture and it most certainly isn't a gun rug. It's a holster, and the weapon can most certainly be fired from that holster.

    And he was not shot for "complying with commands", he was shot for disregarding both his military and NV CCW training which both covered explicitly that you do not move you hand towards you weapon under ANY circumstance when stopped by law enforcement. If an officer wants you disarmed, you wait with hands in the air or lying on the ground with arms out and allow an officer to remove your weapon.

    (Obviously many making comments on here have never taken the course required to obtain a Nevada CCW permit)

  18. Actually DTJ, all Goodman had to do to get his witnesses and evidence included was provide a list to the DA. He chose not to. (which tells you that his case is probably all hot air)

  19. Jose,

    Doesn't matter if the gun was in a holster or not, it can still be fired.

    "Did he reach for the gun and maybe Mr Scott was going to give it to the officer?"

    Again, doesn't matter. Erik knew, as part of his NV CCW training, that you should *NOT* do any such thing. By doing so he made himself a threat and got himself shot.

  20. At this point it really doesn't matter if this shooting was justified or not. We already know what the finding will be ahead of time.

    The public has seen that the inquest process is nothing but a dog and pony show whose only purpose is to tell the public the cops did their job.

    Well, we, the public, don't trust it anymore!

    Get rid of this reverse kangaroo court and replace it with a proper review board. Don't try to dress it up in pseudo-legal trappings in an attempt to think it has the integrity and authority of a real court proceeding.

    All this has accomplished is to reduce the public's trust even further, even if the inquest is correct!

  21. "I was taught to respect the police and to not give them any excuse to feel threatened by me PERIOD." - el_diablo_loco

    I was raised the same way. But today, I think it is time for the police to learn respect for us.

    There is NO excuse for the police to have given us reason to fear or distrust them as they have done.

  22. If all the armchair critics of Metro would look up "active shooter", you will see why Metro went right in without an official "game plan".

    Columbine changed everything.

    For those that say he wasn't an "active shooter", exactly how do you know his intent. He was erratic and stoned.

    I do not pretend to know his intent. I just know how this situation could have escalated even more and then the Metro haters would wonder why Metro didn't protect the public better.

  23. I've been watching the coroner's inquest since it started and I think the cops had no choice but to plug him full of holes. Erik Scott was a drugged out mess and a loose cannon. It will be a justified in the jury's eyes. I would be very surprised if it wasn't. Great reality t.v. I feel sorry for Erik's family, but drugs never have a happy ending.

  24. Scott was so high that he probably didn't realize what he was doing. Either that or this is a case of suicide by cop.

    This case is not worthy of a civil lawsuit. The evidence shows that the police did their job as trained for and that Scott was not legally entitled to carry a concealed weapon.

  25. DTJ, I agree with you that the normal rationa l response to the command "drop it" is to drop it....IF YOU ARE HOLDING IT.

    It is not a rational response to the command "drop it" to then go and pick "it" up just so that you can then drop it.

    So Erik's action would only be rational if he already had the gun in his hand. If he did then he should have "dropped it" immediately instead of extending his arm towards the officer.

    Sorry, but there's no way to spin it where Erik is "complying" with any of the commands given.

  26. "That is non-compliance and would have gotten you shot by the police for being non-compliant."

    Sorry Buddy, but no it wouldn't. Point to a single case (either here in Vegas or elsewhere in the US) to back up that claim.