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Day 6 blog — Jury: Officers justified in fatally shooting Erik Scott outside Summerlin Costco

2 officers say Erik Scott posed ‘imminent’ threat

Image

Steve Marcus

Bill Scott, center, father of Erik Scott, speaks to reporters after a coroner’s inquest for Erik Scott at the Regional Justice Center Tuesday, September 28, 2010. With Bill Scott are his wife Linda and attorney Ross Goodman. The jury found that the shooting of Erik Scott was justified.

Updated Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2010 | 6:11 p.m.

Erik Scott Coroner's Inquest - Day 6

Bill Scott, center, father of Erik Scott, speaks to reporters after a coroner's inquest for Erik Scott at the Regional Justice Center Tuesday, September 28, 2010. With Bill Scott are his wife Linda and attorney Ross Goodman. The jury found that the shooting of Erik Scott was justified. Launch slideshow »

Erik Scott Coroner's Inquest - Day 5

Metro Police Detective Peter Calos holds a .38 caliber handgun owned by Erik Scott during a coroner's inquest for Erik Scott at the Regional Justice Center Monday, September 27, 2010. The gun was said to be found in Scott's pocket by medical workers in the ambulance. Launch slideshow »

Erik Scott Coroner's Inquest - Day 4

Costco customer Karen Passarelli-Krause wipes away a tear while testifying during a coroner's inquest for Erik Scott at the Regional Justice Center Saturday, September 25, 2010. Launch slideshow »

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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5:29 p.m. (Updated at 5:42 p.m.)

A coroner’s jury has ruled the police shooting of Erik Scott was justified.

The jury of seven announced the unanimous decision at 5:29 p.m. after deliberating for about an hour and a half.

Scott was fatally shot by Metro officers William Mosher, Thomas Mendiola and Joshua Stark outside the Summerlin Costco store July 10.

Jurors were instructed to determine whether the shooting was justifiable, excusable or criminal. Coroner’s juries do not have to be unanimous in reaching their verdict.

Metro Police announced minutes after the verdict was read that Sheriff Doug Gillespie will meet with the news media at 10 a.m. Wednesday to discuss the Costco shooting and the inquest process.

4:59 p.m.

Jurors have reached a verdict in the Erik Scott coroner's inquest. It was expected to be read at 5:20 p.m.

4:08 p.m.

Three jurors, two women and a man, were picked at random to be the alternates and were dismissed as deliberations began. One of those women had consistently asked many questions during the inquest.

There were four men and three women who were selected for the jury. They began deliberations about 3:30 p.m. Jurors will decide whether the shooting was justified, criminal or excusable.

In earlier testimony, Metro Police Detective Barry Jensen said when he interviewed Scott's girlfriend, he asked if Scott was a Green Beret. She told him he had done some stuff "they don't talk about."

Jensen said he checked out Scott's DD-214 separation papers from the military.

"We found he had no special forces training and wasn't a Green Beret," Jensen said. Jensen said they found Scott was honorably discharged in 1996.

3:34 p.m. (Updated at 3:42 p.m.)

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Clark County Coroner Mike Murphy testifies during a coroner's inquest for Erik Scott at the Regional Justice Center Tuesday, September 28, 2010. Murphy was the last person to testify at the inquest.

Witness testimony for the inquest has ended and the jury of seven has begun deliberations.

More than 1,500 questions were submitted to witnesses over nearly six days of testimony.

Coroner Michael Murphy testified that he met with Erik Scott's family and explained the inquest process to them.

Murphy said the family was told more than once how to provide the names of witnesses to bring to the inquest, but had not done so.

3:30 p.m.

The district attorney’s office played more of the recording of police radio traffic for the jury.

Jensen also showed a diagram of the shooting that Scott’s girlfriend, Samantha Sterner, helped draw.

Jensen, who oversaw the collection of witness testimony, said Metro sent out 113 letters to Costco members who were at the store and got more than 70 responses. He said he also asked the Las Vegas Review-Journal for a list of witnesses interviewed, but didn't receive one.

An interested party asked Jensen why officers would have their guns drawn before they even saw Scott.

“You don’t want to be in a gun-draw contest with somebody,” Jensen said.

He also said the officers had little time to react.

“This situation unfolded, due to Erik Scott’s actions, quickly,” Jensen said.

Officer Mosher fired two shots, one of which hit Scott in the thigh and the other hit him in the chest, Jensen said. That may dicate that Mosher was raising the gun when he fired the first shot, Jensen said.

The bullet that hit Scott’s thigh also struck the Ruger gun that was in his pocket, Jensen said.

The bullets from the other two officers were the same caliber, so Jensen said he couldn't tell where those officers’ shots landed. Mendiola fired four shots and Stark fired once, Jensen said.

The gun was damaged enough that it couldn't function when tested, Jensen said.

The district attorney’s officer has called Coroner Michael Murphy to the stand to testify.

2:37 p.m.

Click to enlarge photo

Metro Police Detective Barry Jensen testifies during a coroner's inquest for Erik Scott at the Regional Justice Center Tuesday, September 28, 2010.

Erik Scott didn't have a permit to carry the gun that was in his pocket when he was shot, a Metro detective testified.

Detective Barry Jensen answered a question that his partner, who testified Monday, could not.

Scott carried a Ruger .380 semi-automatic handgun and a .45-caliber Kimber single action pistol. The Kimber was found in its holster not far from where Scott’s body landed after he was shot. The Ruger was found in Scott’s clothing as he was being taken to the hospital.

Scott had a concealed carry permit and seven gun registrations in is wallet, but the permit didn't include the Ruger.

“That’s a felony crime in Nevada,” Jensen said.

The permit did list a .380 Kel Tec, which is similar.

2:22 p.m.

Metro announced that Sheriff Doug Gillespie will hold a news conference Wednesday to discuss the inquest. He will not comment on the case today if a verdict is reached, but Metro officials said they plan to send out a news release to the media once a verdict is announced.

2:18 p.m.

After a slightly longer-than-expected lunch break, the coroner’s inquest has resumed.

Detective Barry Jensen, who is expected to be the final witness of the inquest, has taken the stand. The judge again said he expected the inquest to end today.

1:22 p.m.

Justice of the Peace Tony Abbatangelo indicated that the Erik Scott coroner's inquest, now in its sixth day, might be handed over to the jury this afternoon.

Detective Barry Jensen is expected to be the final witness to testify.

After Metro Officer Thomas Mendiola finished his testimony, Abbatangelo said there would be a 45-minute lunch break.

The judge looked at the clock and indicated he wanted to give the jury "time to deliberate" this afternoon.

1:12 p.m.

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Metro Police Officer Thomas Mendiola testifies during a coroner's inquest for Erik Scott at the Regional Justice Center on Sept. 28, 2010. Scott was shot and killed by Metro officers at the Summerlin Costco store July 10.

Thomas Mendiola, the third officer who shot Erik Scott outside the Summerlin Costco, also testified today that he thought people were in danger before he fired.

Mendiola heard the call come from Costco and asked to be sent to the scene since he knew he was the closest officer to the store.

He was told not to use his lights or sirens on the way so he wouldn't spook anyone or make the situation worse, he said.

Mendiola was the first to arrive. His sergeant told him over the radio to stay outside the store and instruct employees to begin an evacuation.

He had been told that Scott had a gun, was acting erratically, throwing things off shelves and may have been on drugs. He was also told that Scott may have been a Green Beret.

While Mendiola was working with store employees, Officer William Mosher arrived and went to the store exit. Mendiola stayed near the entrance, he said.

People were coming out of the store, but it was orderly and there was no running or yelling, Mendiola said.

Officer Joshua Stark then came up and stayed with Mendiola at the entrance, he said.

An employee with access to store surveillance told Mendiola that Scott was in the center of the store, but shortly after he heard Mosher giving orders to someone, Mendiola said.

Mosher yelled, “Hands, let me see your hand,” Mendiola said.

But Scott, who matched the description they were given from Costco, reached both hands under his shirt and pulled out a gun, which Scott pointed directly at Mosher, he said.

"I immediately went to center mass, took aim and discharged my weapon," Mendiola said.

Scott was a threat, Mendiola said. "I felt that my fellow officer was in immediate and imminent danger.”

Mendiola said he remembered shooting three times, but was later told he fired four times.

“I just fired until I felt that the suspect wasn't a threat. I perceived him as a threat every time I fired,” he said.

Asked why he didn't try to shoot the gun out of his hand, Mendiola said his "training was to shoot at center mass, sir."

Chief Deputy District Attorney Christopher Laurent asked Mendiola would have done anything differently in retrospect.

“Absolutely not,” Mendiola said. “We don’t pick what’s going to happen, we react to the situation and that’s what the situation presented at that time.”

An interested party asked what Mendiola thought when he found out Scott’s gun was in a holster the whole time.

“It was still a threat whether it was holstered or not. I did what I had to do,” Mendiola said.

Interested parties have submitted more than 1,400 questions during the six days of testimony. Not all have been asked of witnesses; Judge Tony Abbatangelo asks the questions unless they are not appropriate or have already been answered.

Click to enlarge photo

Bill Scott, father of Erik Scott, listens to testimony during a coroner's inquest for Erik Scott at the Regional Justice Center Tuesday, September 28, 2010.

12:10 p.m.

The inquest has returned from a short break. Officer Thomas Mendiola, the third officer who shot Scott, is taking the stand.

12:08 p.m.

Assistant District Attorney Chris Owens asked Stark more about why he didn’t use a Taser.

Stark said Tasers don't always work properly and are only used when a suspect doesn't present deadly force.

“So when somebody presence a gun, you have to use a gun because they present an imminent threat of death,” Stark said.

He said if he had used a Taser, he could have gotten in trouble with his supervisors and Metro's Use of Force Board.

Officers also carry a baton, pepper spray and can use their hands as non-deadly weapons, Stark said.

He said a Taser might be used if a subject was fighting with an officer with his hands, or if the subject put a knife to his own throat.

Click to enlarge photo

Metro Police Officer Joshua Stark gestures toward the jury as he testifies during a coroner's inquest for Erik Scott at the Regional Justice Center on Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2010. Stark was one of three officers who shot Scott.

11:55 a.m.

Joshua Stark, a Metro Police officer who fired at Scott, testified he felt people were in “threat of imminent death” from Scott before he was shot.

Stark was on a lunch break when he heard a call from Costco over the police radio, he assigned himself to the call and went to the Costco store, which he is familiar with from shopping there, as well as responding to other calls, he said.

He heard over the radio that a man was in the store throwing merchandise and acting erratically, he said. They were told Scott might be under the influence of drugs and had a gun.

When he arrived at the store Officer William Mosher was by the store's exit and Officer Thomas Mendiola was near the entrance.

Stark said he thought Scott was refusing to come out of the store and that the officers would finish evacuating customers and then go into the store to confront Scott.

Stark went to Mendiola for an update and was near the store's entrance when he heard Mosher giving loud commands to someone else, he said.

Mosher’s orders included the word “ground,” but Stark said he didn't understand the exact commands. “The suspect is not complying at all,” he said.

Scott’s arm then reached behind him, exactly to where Costco security had told the officers Scott had a gun, Stark said. Scott struggled to get something out before bringing his hand forward and pointing it at Mosher, Stark testified.

“He pulls out the gun and it comes forward,” Stark said, then shots were fired.

“I wasn’t sure who had been shot, I just knew shots had been fired,” Stark said, explaining that he was focused on Scott’s hands.

"I fired my handgun because I thought my partner Officer Mosher and everybody behind him was in the threat of imminent death," he said.

Stark fired once, then said he stopped to reassess and noticed that Scott had dropped the gun and was starting to fall, “so he was no longer a threat” and Stark didn't fire again, he said.

He continued to keep his gun aimed at Scott while Mosher handcuffed him, he said.

He then noticed the gun laying 5 or 6 feet away from Scott’s feet, in its holster, Stark said.

Asked why he didn't use his Taser, Stark said, “Deadly force is always met with deadly force.”

After other officers arrived, Stark was put into a patrol car so he couldn't talk to anyone about what happened and then met with homicide detectives, he said.

Stark said he didn't know Scott’s gun was in the holster when he shot, but even if he had, he knows it is possible to shoot through a holster, especially a soft one.

He also said every other concealed weapon permit holder he has dealt with has put his hands up in the air when confronted by officers.

Stark said he knew medical officials were staged nearby at the time of the shooting, so he helped clear the crowd to get them to Scott rather than trying to help Scott himself. He isn't trained to give medical help, he said.

Judge Tony Abbatangelo is still asking Stark questions submitted by interested parties.

11:08 a.m.

Click to enlarge photo

Metro Police Officer Dustin Bundy testifies during a coroner's inquest for Erik Scott at the Regional Justice Center on Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2010.

Metro Police Officer Dustin Bundy testified he was at Costco and heard the shooting, but didn't see what happened because he was behind a pillar.

Bundy, who has been with the department for less than a year and half, responded to a call he heard on the radio of a man with a gun inside the store, he said.

Over the radio, the officers were told the man was acting erratically, had a gun and was throwing merchandise, he said.

When he arrived he saw another police officer near the door, but Bundy was helping to move the crowd of people away from the building when he heard someone yell “gun.”

He then heard three or four gunshots within a second, Bundy said, but he never saw a gun or saw Scott because of his location.

He said into his radio that shots had been fired, then heard Officer William Mosher say the same thing.

When Bundy came around the pillar, he saw Scott lying face-down on the ground with three officers with their guns “drawn down” on Scott, he said.

He also aimed his shotgun on Scott, but when he saw Scott wasn't moving he began to look around and noticed a handgun in its holster about 3 feet from Scott’s feet, Bundy said. He said he didn't see a cell phone on the ground.

He saw Mosher handcuff Scott, then he moved his attention to a woman who had become hysterical and was yelling, he said.

Bundy then helped to move the crowd back and put up crime scene tape, he said. He didn't see Scott again.

When asked why he didn't give CPR or try to save Scott, Bundy said he is not trained in emergency medicine or CPR.

Click to enlarge photo

Justice of the Peace Tony Abbatangelo speaks to the jury during a coroner's inquest for Erik Scott at the Regional Justice Center Tuesday, September 28, 2010. Scott was shot and killed by Metro Police Officers at the Summerlin Costco store on July 10.

Officer Josh Stark, one of the three officers who fired at Scott is now taking the stand.

10:39 a.m.

Dustin Bundy, another Metro Police officer present during the shooting, is the first witness of the day.

10:32 a.m.

The coroner’s inquest into the shooting death of Erik Scott resumed this morning at the Regional Justice Center in downtown Las Vegas.

This is the sixth day of testimony in the inquest, which originally was scheduled to last three days. The proceedings were to begin at 10 a.m., but jurors entered the courtroom at about 10:30 a.m.

Police responded to the Summerlin Costco on July 10 when an employee called 911 to report a man acting erratically, possibly on drugs, damaging merchandise and carrying a pistol in his waistband.

Shortly after police arrived, Scott was shot to death outside the door by three officers.

Officer William Mosher, the first of three officers who fired shots at Scott and the first to pull his trigger, testified Thursday and Friday. The other two officers, Joshua Stark and Thomas Mendiola, are expected on the stand today.

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  1. Perhaps the LV Sun reporter can tell us about whether there is a typo or not.
    Where their 8 bullets fired (and 7 bullets in Scott) and did homicide say Mosher fired 3 times?

  2. Hi BrianJ, police say Officer William Mosher fired twice, Officer Thomas Mendiola fired four times and Officer Joshua Stark fired once.

  3. Here's what I find troubling with the testimony with the civilians are some what contradicting of each other but yet no officer has gave any contradictory testimony as if they have all been coached, If I were on the jury that is a question I would ask if all the officers involved got together with the DA And job briefed the testimony ie. coached.
    I mean it just stands to reason that there is such a disparity, Why would group have controversy and the other is perfect.

  4. casinokid, you need to listen closer to the testimony. There are as many discrepancies in eyewitness testimony from the officers as would be expected. Not all of them agree on how many shots they heard fired, the commands they heard, etc.

    If you're asking why the offices don't have HUGE discrepancies, like some civilians saying that Scott was shot in the back with no delay between the first command and the first shot - that is primarily because officers often know what they are looking for and where to look and are, in general, better trained more reliable witnesses than the general public.

  5. I have visited your fair city on multiple occasions (1 to 2 x year for 10 + years)for business events.

    I find a few things concerning:

    1. Your police are not trained in first aid or CPR?
    2. This inquest process is a bit unusual.
    3. When was the last LV Police officer convicted in a wrongful shooting?

    While I don't think many conventioneers fly in with concealed weapons, this case is a bit concerning to people outside of LV.

    The excessive number of shots, shots in the back, and failure to render first aid seem unusual for broad daylight, in a Costco, with only one suspect.

  6. Being professionally trained and around emergent situations for the past 7 years, I can say that people's stories don't match up often. Because when events like this happen, they happen so fast, people aren't going to know every detail of what truly happened. Adrenaline kicks in. It would be pretty impossible for everyone to be on the same exact page. Not everyone was standing in the same exact spot. Not everyone heard the same thing, saw the same thing, etc. Also perception is different. So like wendor says, officers are better trained to be more reliable witnesses. I agree.

  7. casinokid:

    I am finding the civilian testimony is not that contradictory. Except from the lawyer guy who had the time to walk to his car and then go back to check out what was going on; his testimony is full of baloney (this all went down in less than 2 minutes and guy doesn't look like he could walk fast enough to see anything that was useful). Please go back and read the civilian testimony again. There are some discrepancies but most are saying basically the same thing. Some were not close enough to see whether Scott was shot in the back or not.

  8. "Mosher's orders included the word "ground," but Stark said he didn't understand the exact commands. "The suspect is not complying at all," he said."

    Unfortunately, it looks like Scott may have been complying with Mosher's order to "Drop It" that Stark didn't hear and Mosher denied given, yet can be heard on the 911 tape.

    I thought Stark did a good job on the stand. A couple of things caught my interest.

    First, I thought it was interesting that Stark said he opened fire because he heard Mosher fire, not because of Scott's actions per say.

    I also found it interesting that Stark fired one round into Scott's torso and said he "re-assessed" and didn't fire anymore rounds because the threat had been contained. Yet Mosher fired three rounds and Mendiola fired four rounds, at least one of which entered Scott's body through the underside of his buttocks.

    However, I can understand why Stark would have opened fire if he didn't hear Mosher order Scott to "Drop It" and then turned around to see Scott reach for his weapon and heard a gunshot.

    I really wonder if Erik Scott had run into Officer Stark first instead of Officer Mosher whether would we have had the same outcome?

  9. That's not true...
    The only "threat of imminent death" was from Metro Officers ESCALATING the situation WAAAY beyond what it was.

  10. I made a mistake I was going on what was reported in the paper I was not privy of all the testimony I guess if you get all the info from one source your gonna make a mistake and for that I will apologize.

  11. Alex2, you obviously do not have or use handguns. As I have offered previously, I will be happy to demonstrate, out at the range, that a handgun can be fired while in that exact model of holster. But since the demonstration will damage the holster, you will have to be willing to pay for the replacement.

  12. Eric Scott never intended to use his weapon against the police during this incident @Costco.

    You can use conjecture, make stuff up, speculate, theorize, posit, deduce, infer, or lie, but the TRUTH IS...
    He was going to turn his weapon over to Mosher.

    Still, by the time it came down to what the situation had DEVOLVED INTO, I can see how this will be a justified shoot.

    DOES NOT make it right, however.

  13. gmag, you need to look up the word "conjecture".

    You are knee deep in it.

    Only Erik knew what was on his drug addled brain that day.

  14. SummerlinCC says "it becomes clear that Scott probably figured he could easily clear things up by telling the police he had a CCW and showing the police the serial number on his weapon."

    If that was his plan then he had already made a fatal mistake. His CCW training covered in detail what he should and should not do, and taking his weapon in hand FOR ANY REASON including to "show" the officers something is an action he should have know would likely result in being shot.

  15. BrianJ says "Anyone want to assign blame for the incident?"

    Easy. Scott 100%

    He knew he was carrying illegally while on drugs. He knew how he should respond when confronted by a civilian while carrying and ignored that process. He knew how he should respond when confronted by an officer while carrying and chose to ignore that as well.

    Erik Scott gets 100% of the blame.

    As nonewz said earlier "erik scott precious moments upon this earth were cut dramatically by ignorant human behavior..." and he was 100% correct, he just overlooked that the "ignorant human behavior: was Erik Scott's.

  16. Sorry Alex, but in this case you really do not know what you are talking about. A gun can indeed be fired from that holster. I have offered to SHOW you that this is true. If you choose instead to labor on under your false assumption, then no one else can help you.

  17. BrianJ - "100% means that this situation ONLY could have ended with erik scott dead on the ground."

    No, I said that the responsibility for Erik's death was 100% his.

    At any time a change in his own actions could have kept him alive. But the choices he made instead directly resulted in his death.

  18. SummerlinCC - "Ordinarily, yes. But CCW training teaches you to take commands from the police."

    Obviously you are NOT a Nevada CCW permit holder. The training for a CCW permit in Nevada specifically covers this case (wow, how many time do I have to repeat this...) and the trainign is to keep your hands visible, move them out away from your bode, and to not move your hands towards your weapon UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES.

    That rule takes precedence over ANYTHING the police tell you to do at the time. You will never get shot for "not touching your weapon". You get shot for being a threat and you are only a threat AFTER you reach for or grab your weapon.

    People keep saying that Scott was shot for not following orders. That is not true. He was shot for being a threat. He made himself a threat when he placed his hand on his weapon. If you are ordered to get on the ground and you do not comply, the police may put you on the ground themselves, but they won't shoot you for it.

  19. Actually ElJeffe, the proper response for a CCW holder when confronted by police is covered in very good detail in the mandatory training class you have to take to get a CCW permit in Nevada. I don't believe that anyone has ever been shot by the police in Nevada while following that procedure.

  20. Has anyone made a copy of the questions that were not asked but read yesterday evening?

  21. Sinatra711 - Everyone fails to remember what caused this damn thing to begin with.....if Scott's erratic behavior and threatening attitude in Costco prior to the Police arriving didn't happen.....then none of this would have happened!

    WRONG - This started because COSTCO FAILED to post their entrance that NO CCW was allowed on their property!!! Costco employee "Shai" then escalated the incident because his authority was questioned.

  22. MG says "WRONG - This started because COSTCO FAILED to post their entrance that NO CCW was allowed on their property!!!"

    Actually it started even before that. If you want to go back to the "start" it would be because Erik Scott chose to ILLEGALLY carry two concealed weapons.

    Yes, he had a CCW permit, but did not comply with the terms of that permit. (Actually violated them in two places, carrying while under the influence, and carrying a concealed weapon not listed on his registration)

    The fact that Erik Scott chose to illegally carry concealed anyhow would be the start of the chain of events for that day.

  23. olddingo - I hope if im in a store and an idiot is walking around with a gun doing crazy crap....The police take him out quick before he kills me!!

    You sound like an ex LVMPD officer, afraid of his own shadow.

  24. BrianJ, One comment means you disagree.

    Going on and on and on, ad nauseum means you are a hater.

    I know, just like the shooting, the answer is too easy for you.

    CC, really??

  25. ELjeffe - We won't even mention those crazies that Open Carry.

    The only crazy seems to be YOU, almost all cops open carry.

  26. hateliars, the reason they have focused on his drug use is revealed in one of your following sentences.

    You say "The fact of the matter is that Mr Scott was...a law abiding citizen..."

    His drug use shows that the above statement is not correct. His CCW prohibits him from carrying while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Taking morphine meant that Erik could not legally carry a weapon in Nevada. Doesn't matter whether the drugs were prescribed or not, doesn't matter why he needed them, the fact that he was taking them meant that by law he had to leave his guns at home and he chose not to.

    That fact is then relevant for a jury to decide how much weight to give to witness descriptions of Erik's actions. It might seem more likely to a jury that someone who already disregarded the law and carried illegally would grab his gun when confronted by police than it would if the person were actually complying with the law in advance.

  27. hateliars: NRS202.257 Possession of firearm when under influence of alcohol, controlled substance or other intoxicating substance

  28. BrianJ - "I think what Sinatra and wendor cannot seem to understand is that we are trying to figure out if this man should have been SHOT.
    Both cite a bunch of facts that DO NOT justify shooting a person."

    FACT - After being confronted by police, Erik Scott placed his hand on his weapon and drew it from his belt.

    That right there justifies him being shot. End of story.

  29. BrianJ - Yes. Erik Scott was guilty of:

    2 misdemeanors for possesion while under the influence. (NRS 202.257)

    A gross misdemeanor and a category D felony for carrying concealed outside the terms of his CCW permit. (NRS 202.350)

    ...and fatal stupidity for disregarding his training and drawing his weapon when confronted by law enforcement personnel. [possibly also in violation of NRS202.320, but at that point it didn't matter because deadly force was authorized to combat the threat he chose to present]

  30. IncognitoRebel says "It's really sickening to know how many people think its ok to kill someone for no reason."

    I haven't seen anyone here who has said that yet. Many of us have said that are REASONS that Erik Scott deserved to be shot and killed.

    The primary one being that when confronted by police officers he chose to ignore his training and instead place his hand on his weapon and draw it from his belt. The moment he placed his hand on his weapon he because "a deadly threat". The moment he started to pull his weapon out he pretty much signed his own death warrant.

  31. Sorry Sinatra, but I don't think we can show that NRS 202.360 applies.

    I suspect that it does, but until someone diagnosed him as an "addict" or showed that he illegally obtained his prescriptions it's all subjective.

  32. BrianJ - nice straw man argument there.

    Because he was guilty of 2 misdemeanors, a gross misdemeanor, and a category D felony....you connect that to my saying that he deserved to be shot and magically say that the first is the reason for the second.

    Not true. I said that he deserved to be shot because he drew his weapon.

    All of the other things he was guilty of just go to show that he was already disregarding the law and safety in general.

  33. ElJeffe - see my "straw man" comment to BrianJ.

    You also take a string of things that Erik Scott did and claim that we think that any one of those justified him being shot. Not true.

    Erik Scott drawing his weapon after being confronted by police is why he deserved to get shot.

  34. BrianJ - I didn't think it was ever sufficiently established that they were stolen prescriptions.

    More importantly though, it didn't matter if they were legal or illegal drugs. Both disqualify him from legally carrying a weapon.

  35. BrianJ - it did, but I'd say that's only enough to make it suspicious, not enough to prove it was illegal. For the purposes of this inquest they didn't need to go any further.

    Now if it goes to a civil suit they probably will because if the girlfriend was illegally obtaining prescription drugs for him, that would go to he credibility.

  36. I'm shocked, shocked "Justifiable" who would have thought

  37. The result is what it should be. You can't be high on prescription drugs (more than high, this guy had lethal levels), carry a gun, point it at the police when they are telling you to put it down, and expect to live. If the police can not defend themselves against someone like this, then they can't defend themselves against anyone.

  38. And not a damned thing was accomplished by this other that to raise the level of distrust we have for Metro and the system.

    This was nothing but a complete waste of time, even IF the verdict were to be correct.

  39. I'll modify what I said earlier, one thing was accomplished. The jury verdict makes it much harder for the family to win a wrongful death lawsuit.

    It seems to me that the coroner's inquest serves only to reduce the possibility of anyone ever winning a wrongful death action, thereby saving the city money.

    In 200 cases they have returned a verdict of "criminal" only once!

  40. No, a certain percentage do not have to be "criminal". But when the process finds it "justified" to shoot a handcuffed prisoner in the back one has to wonder.

  41. Tell me, lvkindaguy, just what would you consider not justified? Running with your hands handcuffed behind your back is not going to help you set any speed records.

    It's very simple, Metro has been given the mentality that they can do no wrong.

    Maybe if settlement awards were to come directly out of their budget the brass would get the message.

  42. Tanker says "All that is necessary for evil to win is for good people to do nothing."

    And fortunately for us the good people (Metro) did not "do nothing" and as a result evil (Erik Scott) did not win.

    Not sure what you mean by "get Metro under control" trough, since Metro didn't actually do anything wrong. (as voice UNANIMOUSLY by a jury of the people)

  43. lvkindaguy,

    If two cops can't run down a handcuffed prisoner then they deserve to get fired, for starters.

    Now answer my question, what does it take for you think an officer-involved shooting is criminal, or not justified?

    I really do think most shootings are justified. But in this town there are often too many questionable circumstances involved and the inquest system doesn't do a thing to inspire trust in the police or the system.

    When too many of the people fear the cops, then the cops might be right to fear the people. And that is not right.

  44. Talkingman, the only "perp" who did anything wrong was Erik Scott and they can't give him "serious time" as you say because he's dead.

    The Metro officers won't ever need to worry about a civil rights trial because any Federal Prosecutor will look at the case and see that there was no civil rights violation to prosecute.

  45. Has anyone noticed that NONE of the comments (as of the time of this posting) by verified users with real names attached to user names are by those who question inquest? (Though it can be argued that my name was exposed in a previous article.)

  46. If in that case the suspect had managed to outrun two cops while handcuffed and killed someone then yes, that would be tragic.

    But everything boils down to probabilities when you look at it, and the probability of that happening doesn't seem to be significant.

    Now please give me a specific set of conditions that you would think would be an unjustified shooting. Just how blatant does it have to be for you?

  47. Actually TalkingMan, if you read the posts (which you obviously didn't) I was replying to the people who were under the incorrect assumption that Erik Scott could not have posed a threat to anyone BECAUSE the gun was in the holster. I was simply correcting them and pointing out that holster or not, Erik Scott was a deadly threat when he pulled his gun because he COULD fire through the holster.

    And Bill Scott isn't interested in a civil right trial, he isn't interested in getting the truth out, his actions (and Goodman's) confirm that all he is interested in is a civil lawsuit where he can make a quick buck off his son's criminal acts.

  48. Tanker, none of those cases have ANYTHING to do with what happened here. Just because a cop somewhere does something wrong does not mean that ALL cops are wrong.

    Of course, by your logic because a gunman opened fire at UT today, we could say that it proves that Erik Scott was going to go on a rampage as well.

    That logic doesn't work.

  49. Batman wrote:
    "POLICE should wait until a shot is fired"

    Holy Death Count, Batman! You saying Erik Scott should have killed someone before the police fired back? You really saying that?

    He trespassed onto private property with a firearm that was not allowed.

    And I love the posts about how he was LEGALLY prescribed the drugs, especially from a physician who said he never treated him, and his girlfriend used to work for him. Prescription forgery, that's a crime too.

    And carrying a weapon that he didn't have a CCW for. He was a felon who just hadn't been caught.

    Given his past that has come to light with the ex-wives and the neighbor's dog, he was a bad guy and it was going to end badly for him sooner or later. It's just a relief to know he didn't take out anyone with him.

  50. Hello everyone. I thought I would take a minute to try to help clarify the details regarding taking prescription medication and exercising your 2nd amendment. This should also help answer the question a couple of posts back about police officers on duty taking prescribed pain killers. Anyway, here goes...
    We all remember the graphs on the first day of the inquest showing the lethal amounts of medication in Mr.Scotts system compared to that of a normal person of same size and stature? This actually is quit common for patients who have been in a pain management program for an extended period of time. What we didn't hear however was any testimony that Mr.Scott had more than his prescribed amount in his system. This is very important because the law is very clear here. The reason we never heard the DA say directly Mr. Scott was under the influence was because he wasn't according to the law.
    Just to be clear... if you... Joe Citizen open carry/CCW... or Officer Jones, are prescribed 20mg oxycontin 4 times a day and as long as you are not taking more than the prescribed dosage you may carry your handgun or duty weapon without fear of prosecution. This is why in NV. there are the separate charges of DUI and DWI. I'm not taking sides here really as much as I'm trying to help the people who might think that any and all armed individuals (law enforcement included) are outlaws simply because they are in a maintenance program.

  51. Maybe this article's previous header ought to have read; "2 Officers who Executed Eric Scott say"". When a subject has his empty hands up, as many witnesses on both sides have testified and agreed he did AFTER Officer William Mosher first shot Eric Scott, there was NO imminent threat . That threat had passed.

    The shots fired by Mosher are highly debatable and speculative but the shots fired by Mendiola and Stark at a man most witnesses claim had his hands up and/or his weapon dropped are nothing short of criminal execution.

    Witnesses repeatedly testified that Scott continued to be shot by police AFTER his weapon was dropped. And that established fact ought to present the ultimate decision in this case AGAINST at least two of the three Metro police officers. These three officers were grouped together. It is possible one could be justifiable while the other two not.

    Dr. Alane Olson, a medical examiner at the Clark County Coroner's office, testified five of the shots entered Eric Scott's back and two entered the front of his body with one of the seven bullets entering his buttocks area, which traveled up through his bowels and lodged in his chest.

    Two of the shots hit Scott's heart, Olson testified, with none of the shots being immediately lethal.

    Instead of rendering medical help which may have saved Scott's life, an already subdued man, Metro police officers by their own admission left Scott medically unattended. It took ten full minutes between the time a request for EMS was made and transport to trauma begun.

    The clear and imminent danger is having Sheriff Doug Gillespie remain in office. Voting Gillespie out of office will yield a degree of public safety for those in the process of surrendering to law enforcement and those innocent civilians in the immediate area of such an event.

    Witnesses testify no medical assistance was rendered by Metro police officers to Scott immediately after the shooting, even after he was handcuffed. That also implies had an innocent bystander been shot no immediate medical assistance would have been rendered.

    Most law enforcement officers in the nation ARE trained in Emergency Medical Services (EMS) response and CPR. In fact, many non-police security guards nationwide are required to pass courses in medical assistance. All first responders ought to be trained in basic emergency medical care or even at a level of EMT-B (Emergency Medical Technician-Basic). If anything rings louder for the need of a new Sheriff this does since training comes from the top leadership.

    Emergency medical care training is at the most basic form of public safety, yet Sheriff Doug Gillespie is negligent on this major training requirement for his subordinates.

    If this inquest proves anything it is the sore lacking of tactical medical training of Metro police officers.

    While Gillespie remains Sheriff public safety will increasingly be at risk.

  52. I'm sooooooo happy for the officers! It was the right verdict! The Scott family lost their son when he chose drugs... These officer's, should carry their heads high and not look back. Smile... The "Scott Family," needs to go away. Going after Cosco and Metro for a "Civil Lawsuit," You will be shot down too.

  53. @@@@@@ The Sun... You need to call me. "I do not like my name posted!" Leave me your number to call. I'm not understanding your new procedure.

  54. I said this in another post but, it is worth repeating here. The definition for a "CORONER'S INQUEST," per Black's Law Dictionary is: "An inquisition or examination into the causes and circumstances of any death happening by violence or under suspicious conditions, held by the coroner with the assistance of a jury."

    I submit that it SEEMS IMPOSSIBLE the JURY could make ANY legitimate finding if they only hear HALF OF THE "STORY." Without the "OTHER SIDE" of the story to consider - and measure against the DA's version - this finding of "justifiable homicide" is nothing more than a ONE-SIDED agreement, by the jury, with what the officers said.

    It's good our Courts of Law don't run this way. We wouldn't need Defense Attorneys, and biased convictions or absolutions would rule.

    The poster comments herein, and daily LV SUN summaries of the Inquest, clearly demonstrate CONFLICTING TESTIMONY - as given by the officers, and some witnesses. So what now. Does the Inquest Judge just say: "good job, well done. Case dismissed!" How is Justice served?

    For instance, Officer Thomas Mendiola testified that he heard officer William Mosher yell, "Hands, let me see your hands." BUT THAT IS NOT ALL Officer Mosher said. MENDIOLA WAS NOT LISTENING. It appears that Mendiola's apparent inexperience, and the heat of the moment, caused Mendiola to draw and fire his weapon - ONLY AFTER SCOTT WAS IN THE PROCESS of OBEYING MOSHER"S second command: "DROP YOUR WEAPON." NEXT, MOSHER immediately told SCOTT TO GET ON THE GROUND (according to HIS testimony.)

    How do drop a weapon if you don't reach for it?

    Officer Mosher says HE shot FIRST. But Officer Mendiola also says HE fired FIRST. Then we have Officer Stark WHO DIDN'T KNOW WHAT WAS GOING ON - SO HE SHOT TOO. Stark says: "I WASN'T SURE who had been shot. I just knew shots had been fired." - explaining that he was focused on Scott's hands. - [NOTE: it was stated that ONE of Scotts "HANDS" was ALREADY in the AIR.] - SO, "I fired my handgun because I thought my partner officer Mosher and everybody behind him was in the threat of imminent death," he said." These contradictory stories don't match!

    Testimony given says the officers were within 8-9 feet of Scott. Is that not close enough for Stark to KNOW WHAT IS GOING ON? Also, why didn't the "experienced" COP (5 years on the force - and 2-shootings previously) Mosher, tell Scott to "reach for the sky," and then, "to get on the ground?" Or did he panic too?
    This is a "travesty of justice" because (1) the "other side of the story" was not heard, and (2) because there was no suggestion of "reasonable doubt" considered, or offered (per this article and poster's who attended the Inquest).

    The MOB in Las Vegas should have had it so good! They would all still be in Las Vegas if only (one) their side of the story was told to a jury.

  55. TalkingMan says: "You are wrong about shooting through a holster; you were wrong about Bill Scott filing a civil rights lawsuit."

    I can't stop laughing over this. You insist that Erik could not have been a threat because his weapon could not be fired while it was still in the holster, but when I offer to prove it by demonstrating it out at the range, you just plug your ears and yell "La, La, La, I can't hear you"

    And as has already been covered in the comments on a subsequent article, you managed to look real foolish over the "civil right suit" -vs- "civil suit" claim. A "civil right suit" filed by the family is just an ordinary run of the mill "civil suit" with the cause of action being an allegation of civil rights infringement. You confused it with a federal civil rights action - which is a criminal proceeding initiated by the department of justice, not by the family.

  56. liljoe31 and talkingman, if you take off your tinfoil helmets for a moment you will see that the DVR failure on the security video was reported 2 days BEFORE Erik Scott was shot. Do your tinfoil hat conspiracy theories about "buried evidence" include Metro having a time machine so that can go back and set things up two days earlier?

  57. Chuck Archer, PLEASE go down and enroll in a Nevada CCW class. I think it will answer all of your questions on what procedure Erik Scott was already trained to follow and whether or not you should place you hand on your weapon in order to "drop it".

    You can be as confused as you want and debate semantics all day....but the bottom line is that Erik Scott knew better, he training specifically covered what to do and what not to do in a situation like this and he died because he chose to IGNORE that training and do something he had been told in training would get him killed.

  58. johnny and talkignman, you are actually making MY point for me. I'm responding to those who say that Erik Scott was never a threat because his weapon was in a holster and could not be fired. I'm saying that he was a threat because it could be fired.

    Your posts where you want to shoot me BEFORE I can fire it from the holster backs my claim. If the gun couldn't be fired from the holster you wouldn't need to fire on me at all. The fact that you are focused on the need to fire on me would indicate that you agree that the police were correct to fire on Erik Scott.

    Thanks.

  59. Johnny, what does your Fobus paddle holster have to do with anything?

    We are talking about an Uncle Mike's soft nylon inside-the-pant holster the same as Erik was using. If you think you can't slide your finger inside the holster and reach the trigger then you definitely don't know what you are talking about.

    You plunk down the replacement cost for the holster and I'll set up the range time to demonstrate.

  60. Ah, but johnny I never said "fingers outside the holster" nor did I clarify whether or not the gun was "all the way" in the holster. The police outside of Costco had no way to see if either of those was true. You can not say one way or the other whether Erik Scott's fingers were inside or outside the holster before he was shot.

    Folks have said, "the police had no need to shoot, all they had to do was see that the gun being extended towards them was in the holster and therefore could not be fired".

    I am trying to prove that I can extend a gun "visibly inside a holster" and still fire it, thus proving that their claims that Erik Scott did not present a deadly threat are wrong.

    I'm happy to go shooting with you, but don't place conditions on my demonstration beyond what it is intended to prove....that conditions visibly matching what Erik Scott presented CAN BE a deadly threat.

  61. Wendor, I'm In!!! I'll meet you at American Shooters Supply and Gun Club? I live just down the street so let me know when it's good for you? I just happen to have the Uncle Mikes Sidekick and a Kimber CDP 2 compact. Now remember, its a 1911 style 45. you have to "prep it to fire"(single action) and you'll need to do that with one hand. BTW out of the 20 plus friends who have tried the same feat... the holster falls to the ground(100% of the time) the moment you cock it.Long before you can get your hand around the grip safety. Just sayin.....

  62. Terry - Clark County Shooting Park - Saturday, 11am.

    And keep in mind that I can have it cocked before I even start. Since Metro had no way to determine what condition the gun was in before it was pointed at them, we get to use "worst case scenario" since that's what they potentially had to face.

  63. Wendor, If you get to use "worst case scenario". Why use a holster at all? Why even use a gun period? After all, one officer said he didn't see a gun until it was over. No. We will use the same rig, and in the same condition it was photographed on the ground at the scene by detectives (hammer forward). Now,I will let you chamber a round since we heard no testimony to the contrary.Remember, you've got 3-4 seconds....

  64. Nope.

    My point is to prove that the police had no choice but to shoot Erik when he pulled his gun.

    Others have stated that the police should have seen that the gun was in a holster in Erik's hand when he extended his arm and therefore should not have shot him because "it is impossible for him to fire with the gun in the holster"

    The ONLY thing I am trying to prove is that I can bring the weapon up, VISIBLY IN THE HOLSTER, and still fire. With that proven, it follows that the police had to shoot, just the same as if the gun had not been in a holster.

    You may do whatever you want out at the range, my time there and purpose is the same as I originally stated - to prove that the gun in question CAN be fired while still in the holster. I will prove MY point and then I'm done.

  65. Wandered around here for the last half hour and no one identified themselves as looking for me (my shirt has my name on it). Going to go shoot for a while and then head home.