Saturday, September 18, 2010


This just came across my radar screen late last night; a quick double check of the story via Google verified this event . . . S.L.

Eric Scott 1972-2010

Erik Scott was a West Point graduate, Army veteran, MBA graduate of Duke University, and a medical sales rep for Boston Scientific. He was gunned down by three Las Vegas police officers after they responded to a 911 call by Costco store employees reporting a man with a gun, possibly on narcotics, behaving erratically.

Scott was 38 years old, shopping with his girlfriend for items they needed as they moved in together. Unfortunately, those are the only details of the story on which anyone agrees.

To hear the side of the story presented by Scott’s family, friends, and some eyewitnesses, Erik Scott’s death was the result of ignorance and embellishment on the part of the Costco staff, and a combative, deterministic mindset from responding officers.

Other witnesses and the police claim that Eric Scott was armed and acting irrationally, and that his own actions led to his shooting.

What we know for certain is that Scott was in the camping section of the store taking bottles out of their packaging, attempting to determine how many of the bottles would fit in a cooler he was thinking of purchasing. At some point he bent over and his shirt rode up, exposing the pistol he had concealed at the small of his back.

A Costco employee saw the holstered sidearm and told Scott he was not allowed to have the weapon in the store. Scott replied that he had a permit and the right to carry his weapon. He then went back to shopping. The employee called over a manager, who informed a 20-something security guard, who made a 911 call to police.

We do not know precisely what was said in that important call, because the police have refused to release it. We do, however, know from police radio traffic picked up by a scanner that the guard had told police that Erik Scott was armed with a gun, was acting aggressively and erratically, and that he may have been under the influence of drugs.

It must have been a frightening tale: over a dozen police officers responded, along with a helicopter, ambulance, and competing incident command teams.

As the police began to form a massive perimeter outside, Costco managers began evacuating the entire store without apparently explaining why to anyone. As Scott and his girlfriend exited the store he was identified to police officers, who were waiting with guns drawn outside the front door.

A blog from Erik’s family described what happened next:

Erik turned to find three officers facing him, guns drawn, and all three shouting different commands: “Get on the ground!” “Drop your weapon!” “Keep your hands up!” Erik held his hands up, spoke calmly, told them he DID have a concealed firearm and a legal CCW and was an ex-Army officer. His girlfriend was screaming about Erik being a West Point grad, former Army officer, etc. Erik leaned to his left, hands still up, to expose the pistol, and repeated, “I am disarming; I am disarming.” Witnesses say he started to lower his right hand, palm OUT, perhaps intending to remove holster and gun together — but never got the hand below his shoulder, when one of the cops (believed to be William Mosher, who had committed a fatal shooting in 2006) shot Erik in the chest with a .45-caliber semi-automatic weapon. Erik dropped to his knees, clearly in shock, his face a picture of disbelief. He was shot a second time and collapsed. The rest is ugly. The three officers unloaded again, firing a total of seven hollow-point rounds. At least four, possibly five, hit Erik in the back, after he was on the ground and dying.

Two experts hired by Scott’s family examined his body. They claim that of the seven .45 ACP hollowpoint bullets fired into Scott’s body, one was fired through his armpit, suggesting his arm was raised at the time. Four remaining shots were fired into his back. There were no exit wounds, making it all but impossible for police to claim that investigators misread through-and-through wounds.

Metro Police Captain Patrick Neville claimed a different series of events, based in part on the 911 call that police have not released:

"I could clearly hear the officers giving commands to the individual to get him on the ground, hear people yelling and screaming in the background. You could hear the shots being fired. When you listen to that, it definitely sends a chill down your spine."

There are no commands or communications between Erik Scott and police captured on a nine-minute audiotape during which the shooting occurred. Officers not directly in front of the store are heard over the radio establishing a perimeter and trying to block off access to the store’s parking lot. The first indication Scott and the police have made contact is when a officer breaks in to call “shots fired” after Scott is on the ground, already dying or dead.

In another interview, Captain Neville claimed Scott did not listen to police commands:

"He does not comply with that order. He reaches for the weapon, pulls the weapon out . . . uh, at which time the weapon was out of the waistband, the officers — three officers — discharged their weapons."

Others on the scene did not see it that way. Robert Garcia directly conflicts the reports of police:

"I was close enough to see this guy’s face, and to see his hands, and to see his body go down."

Walking just ten feet in front of Erik Scott, Garcia exited the Costco to see officers with guns drawn. He heard an officer yell: “Put it down! Get down!”

Then he claims four shots were fired, and he instantly turned towards the victim:

"After hearing the shots I see the guy going down. I looked at — I saw his hands. His hands had no gun in it. I looked on the ground because — just, I just did that. I looked down and I didn’t see a gun. I saw what I thought were maybe sunglasses. And a pen."

This matches up with several other eyewitness claims that officers William Mosher, Joshua Stark, and Thomas Mendiola fired nearly immediately after shouting conflicting commands at Scott, giving him little or no time to respond. Four other witnesses within 20 feet of the store’s entrance all agree that Scott never brandished a weapon or made a move that could be interpreted as brandishing a weapon.

Please support the Scott Family by following:
Twitter: @IMOErikBScott
Facebook: In Memory of Erik Scott
In Memory of Erik Scott

A coroner’s inquest is to be held next week, but the outcome seems foreordained. In the past 34 years, only one Metro officer has ever been found to have acted improperly out of at least 190 inquests, and that officer wasn’t charged with a crime.

For the record, the Costco did not have signs posted prohibiting the carrying of concealed weapons. Scott did not violate any laws in carrying his weapon in the store. It is quite possible that Erik Scott was gunned down without having committed so much as a misdemeanor crime, and that the officers who shot him will be merely the latest exonerated in a long line from an apparently unaccountable police force.

"Welcome to Las Vegas . . ."




  1. I have re-posted this as a 'Guest Blog'. Hope you don't mind. (If you do, I shall remove it immediately.)

  2. I've been keeping an eye on this one, Sean. The cops here in Vegas have gone mum on this for the most part. The family's supposed to have a chance to submit questions in writing for the coroner's inquest, but they won't let them view the evidence to make them informed questions. And now they're trying to dig up dirt from years ago to make him look bad. This stinks from all directions. Don't even get me started on the video or lack thereof.
    One other thing to note here is that in Nevada, a business can post all the no guns signs it wants to but that doesn't make it illegal to enter their premises. They can ask you to leave and call the police to have you cited for trespass if you don't. It's not a capitol offense.

  3. Hope the family sues. This looks oh-so-wrong.

  4. I've reposted this at under username Chokeu2. Simply unbelievable.

  5. Without seeing anything more than what you have provided here, I believe there was failures on EVERYONE involved. Eric allowed his concealed weapon to be spotted by a store employee, He may not have exercised the best judgement when he continued shopping without fully resolving the situation, the employees overreacted, the security guard didn't handle the situation well, the police reacting on poor info reacted ?. So you have three officers of unknown experience and/or knowledge of events leading to this call, lots of noise, report of man with gun, and likely experiencing auditory exclusion. Man reaches for and presents a firearm. Stress, poor training techniques, and you have a recipe for a tragic mistake. All shots fired where probably fired in less than a few seconds. If ANYONE in this chain of events had exercised better judgement, this would have likely ended way before it ended in tragedy. Yes the officers overreacted, but they where not the only ones who exercised poor judgement.

    W. Pluhar
    CCW permit holder
    Reserve deputy

  6. It doesn't matter one bit if someone "accidentally" saw his gun. Nevada is an open carry state. If he has a permit he can carry concealed. With or without a permit he was completely within the law to open carry. The most Costco can legally do is ask him to leave or file a trespassing complaint. Stop blaming the victim for exercising his god given rights. Las Vegas Metro has a long ugly history of abusing people. When I lived there in the 70's the feds were trying to prosecute some of them for murder for hire. Judging from what I see in the Vegas papers not much has changed.

  7. Read about this in July--and am sorry I did not follow --I will be following the story now!
    A West Point trained individual does not react radically or stupidly--and- he had a concealed carry permit!
    The Costco group and the police were in the wrong-and the police should be sued...

  8. I'm not disagreeing with the outcome. I think it's a fuc&ing travesty. But, having been caught in the scenario twice before, I have to say the easiest way out is simple. You inform the cop that you are carrying. And how do you want to deal with this? One wanted to take control, The other let me hand it to him.

  9. COSTCO, and many other businesses (almost any indoor mall for example) often have no-gun policies but don’t post it at the entrances. I have to wonder if that exposes them to legal liability. Their secret no-gun policy likely created the chain of events that led to the shooting, and I hope the family is pursuing that. If the victim had known about the policy he may well have chosen to shop elsewhere and the whole thing would have never happened. If a business doesn’t want lawfully carried guns in their stores I believe they are obligated to make that clear. I do not shop at COSTCO because of their anti-gun policy.

  10. It does pain me to re-read this story - you have to be careful when approached by LEO for CCW, as they are not use to U.S. citizens exercising their rights.

    I believe the victim unknowingly drew attention to himself inside the store, exposing his firearm to another customer who became "frightened." When the the victim was approached by LEO outside the store he should have left his hands upon his head and not moved - and let the LEO do all the talking. MAYBE the victim would not have been shot.

    Here's is some fodder for those who promote less-than 4 lbs triggers for LEO pistols. It could have been adrenaline that initiated the first shot from LEO. The CHP manadates 12 lbs trigger pull on their AR rifles.

    Can someone else write up a better solution when a CCW is in contact with LEO as I'm not qualified but common sense needs to be promoted here.

  11. Here in Washington I carry openly even in lib cities like Seattle, and in the beginning that caused several police encounters. I have never had the police draw their weapons on me- not even once. The call to the police is the missing link here. What were they told? We can extrapolate that the story told to the dispatchers was likely embellished based on the store's evacuation and the police response. This may have all been the fault of the security personnel. In VA some minimum wage security officer tried to disarm an open carrier, by surprise. The security guy ended up in the hospital and may have a permanent limp. I still contend, however, that the primary blame lies with COSTCO for having a corporate policy they intentionally kept hidden from the shoppers.

  12. Sue?

    Murderers. Prosecutor and Police officals are aiding and abetting murder. Is there one honest official to prosecute the rest?

    When there is no law, then there is no law.
    It's the law of the jungle, created by corrupt thugs.


    With no prosecutions for murder nor for aiding and abetting... The 'enforcement community' creates a situtation where the law is made irrelevant. This leads to people having to fend for themselves proactively against the enforcers, or be killed by them. Yes- It may become necessary for citizens to disarm enforcers at gun point; to control the encounter - FOR CITIZEN SAFETY. The desire to live, trumps laws made irrelvant.

    The parts of government that do not want chaos must press for rule of law. Or there is no law.
    The law in this case involves murder, and the organized support and cover-up of murder.


    The 'rule of law' not 'rule of men' was a hallmark of America. This principle lies at the foundation of our country. And it is under attack by Alinsky-ites. The loss of law is unravelling our society. The country must re-establish law, or accept that the cartels have made the law irrelevant.

    Murder. And organized cover-up in support of murderers, because the murderers are in a union. And judges and legislators cower before that particular union. Rule by violent gangs.

  13. If the gangs are not made responsible- They will be defunded or otherwise disbanded. 'We the people' will not continue to pay protection money to a gang that feels they can harass us or kill us at will.

  14. The Only Ones strike again.

  15. There is definetly something missing in the story of the Metro Police, but why try to take out your weapon, just get down and then deal with the outcome, never test some overly excited rookies that shoot or train twice a year...sad outcome and a travesty for sure.

  16. I find it hard to believe that there was no camera in the store recording this event.

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