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October 1, 2014

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Officer involved in Erik Scott shooting indicted on weapons charge

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Steve Marcus

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.

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One of three Metro Police officers who shot and killed Erik Scott outside the Summerlin Costco last summer was indicted Friday on a charge of disposing a firearm to a prohibited person.

Thomas Rosco Mendiola was relieved of duty without pay in January pending the outcome of an investigation after he allegedly gave a firearm to a convicted felon as a gift for working on his car.

Mendiola, William Mosher and Joshua Stark shot and killed Scott on July 10 last year outside Costco after authorities say Scott pointed a gun at police. A Clark County coroner’s inquest jury ruled in September after six days of testimony the three officers were justified in the shooting.

According to a criminal complaint, Mendiola gave a .22-caliber Ruger handgun to Robert Justice, 45, as a gift for working on his car in August 2010. Justice has convictions for two felony offenses and is prohibited from possessing firearms, authorities said.

Mendiola had met Justice in July when Justice first worked on Mendiola’s car, the report said. Justice told police Mendiola gave him the gun, an extra magazine and a box of ammunition as a gift.

Justice later sold the gun and a .357-caliber handgun to an undercover detective, the complaint said.

When questioned, Mendiola admitted to giving Justice the gun and knowing the man had been in prison. He told police the gun “wasn’t even working, it was just beat up,” the complaint said.

Mendiola is scheduled to be arraigned May 26 in Clark County District Court.

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  1. I agree to the first two post.
    Also if you get pulled over and you try telling a story like that it would not be believed.
    If the gun was traded for services rendered then it the gun is actually value consideration as opposed to a fire arm, the question should be did Justice trade services for the gun in order to circumvent the gun laws that are in place that would have prohibited him from purchasing one and the next question is did the officer go along with this as a willing accomplice if so then there could be a conspiracy to the gun laws.

  2. Very typical and not surprising. This is just done to make it look like Metro/DA "care." Of course they don't, this is just a ply.

    Hopefully the Federal Government will investigate, like they did in New Orleans.

    Of course they do it on friday to avoid the news cycle.

  3. A .22 can be very deadly in the hands of a skilled shooter. But generally speaking, when used by an average shooter who goes for center mass shots, the infections caused by contaminants on the round (grease, dirt, etc.) are more likely to cause illness and death than the wound itself.

    That said, a .22 is not my first choice if I want a weapon that will stop someone in their tracks with one shot. The psychological and physical "punch" just isn't there.

    As for what the officer allegedly did, that was just plain stupid.