I initially posted on this tragic and outrageous incident here. In short, Erik Scott, who had a concealed carry permit, was shot seven times by Las Vegas Metro police, the last volley as he lay bleeding on the ground, as he exited a Costco in Summerlin.
Now, the inquest that had been scheduled for 3 Sept has been postponed indefinitely. Neither the 911 tape or the copious store videos have been released. LV Metro apparently released snippets of the 911 tape that favor them, but the public cannot put them into perspective without the entire tape. The family attorney has been accumulating witnesses that were right there and say that Scott didn’t pull a firearm or point one at the police as the three shooters claim.
Here are some of the friend and witness statements from the comments section of the Las Vegas Sun’s comment section:
As a classmate of Erick and lawyer that once represented a state police union in a different state, I can pretty much guarantee that Erik Scott would never have removed a weapon from his holster if he were approached by law enforcement. He was a trained combat arms Army officer. Proper weapons handling is taught from day one–and Erik was also in charge of supervising such training for subordinates as a lieutenant. This has all the markings of a poorly trained cop making a really bad mistake.
What I find shocking is that the Las Vegas police appear to be lying and trying to cover up the mistake by suggesting that Scott was reaching for his gun and posed a threat. Message to the three police officers: you just killed a law-abiding, contributing member of your community. Don’t make matters worse by perjuring yourselves.
I have known Erik for over 9 years. I am a physician and can speak to his character on a personal as well as a professional level. On a personal level, he was one of the most personable and likable people you would ever meet. Another friend of mine, Mike Pusateri, was quoted in the LVRJ today as saying he was “salt of the earth” which describes him to a T. This guy would give you the shirt off his back. Professionally, he was always very articulate and intelligent and contributed to the management of the patients. A true professional.
I have spoken with two people who I know and trust who were at the Costco and both said he was shot in the back and therefore could not have been “pointing a gun at the police officers” as reported by the police captain who was interviewed on the news by the media. All of the eye witness reports state that he did not have a gun in his hand but that it was in his holster. Some reports state that he may have been trying to lift up his shirt to show the weapon or comply with an officer’s order to “put it down” by reaching for his weapon to set it down. Erik is a West Point graduate – he knows not to do anything that would be threatening to police officers who have loaded guns pointed at him. Regardless, there is no justification for shooting a man 6-7 times who has his back turned does not have a weapon in his hand.
My wife and I were 7 or 8 feet away from the shooting as were the police. We were to the suspects immediate right. We heard and saw the 3 police officers shouting to the man in question to ‘get on your knees’ several times. At that point the man appeared somewhat stunned by the commotion and shouting of the police. His Right arm went up in a defenseless position and it appeared his left arm appeared to be going up but there was NO gun in his hand. He was taserd and shot at the same time. At no time did the man in question ever raise his voice, shout an obscenity or become confrontational with the police. We saw the disabled man stooping to his right facing us with what appeared to be a bullet wound in his upper chest with blood coming from the wound and immediately his eyes became glossy as he began to convulse. At this point he was no threat to anyone, both hands were in full view of us and there was no gun. As he was down, the police continued to shout ‘put the gun down’ several times…but there was no gun in his hand as we had full vantage point view. The injured man was having agonal respirations, he was down when the second volly of bullets rang out. There was no doubt in question that following the second barrage of bullets the man was dead. His girlfriend was to the back side of us and began to scream…..why did you kill him, he is a military man with a license to carry a concealed weapon. You didn’t need to kill him….you didn’t need to kill him.
An officer then came up to the injured man who in my opinion was a ‘dead’ man’, was cuffed with his hands behind his back and no attempt by the officer to determine if the man was alive or dead. No apparent life saving aid was given to the ‘downed’ man. The man was totally lifeless when the Paramedics arrived on scene. I was absolutely surprised to see that no attempt at aggressive ACLS was engaged. They simply just picked up the body like a ‘sack of potatoes’ and hurled him onto the gurney and into the ambulance This was a crime scene…. the crime scene was violated.
One witness interviewed Saturday and three others interviewed Sunday by the Review-Journal gave accounts that differed from what police described. With a few minor variations, the witnesses recounted matching sequences of events. The witnesses interviewed did not see what happened inside the store that prompted workers to call police. Three of the witnesses, upset by the event, asked that their names not be published.
Once Scott was outside, none of the witnesses saw him brandish a weapon or make any movement that would seem like he was brandishing a weapon.
The first witness already had made his purchases and was waiting in line for a worker to check his receipt when he saw an officer enter the store. The officer whispered something to the worker checking the receipts. The first witness then heard that employee turn to another employee and say, “He said we should let him through.” The four witnesses described a calm rush of customers exiting the front of the store after Costco workers told everyone to leave.
All four witnesses said they were within 20 feet of the store’s main entrance. They said Scott walked out of the entrance with the crowd.
Two witnesses interviewed Sunday heard, “Drop it.”
A fourth witness, interviewed Saturday, heard, “Get down,” “Put it down,” or “Get out of the way.”
A second anonymous witness said Sunday he saw Scott pull up his shirt and turn toward the shouting officer. Then he saw the man get shot, drop to his knees and fall face-first in front of the entrance.
“There wasn’t even time for someone to react,” the second witness said. “The guy didn’t pull a gun. There was no gun in his hand, there was no gun on the ground.”
The second witness said he was interviewed by homicide detectives and gave them the same account.
The first anonymous witness also didn’t see Scott make a threat.
“I certainly did not see the guy do anything with a gun that would threaten anybody,” the first witness said Sunday. “It appeared to me that if he had guns on him, that they were literally in his pocket or in his waist.”
The first witness also was interviewed by homicide detectives about the shooting.
It’s just incredible “with all these people around that Metro would provoke something there,” the second witness said. “I don’t want to second-guess the police, but wouldn’t it have been better to confront him out at his car?”
After the shooting, some people in the crowd panicked. An elderly woman was knocked down and cut her elbow in the chaos, the second witness said.
Only Scott was struck by gunfire .
No gun in his hand and no gun on the ground after the shooting. Interesting.
As we all know, stores have extensive video coverage to prevent shoplifting and defend against frivolous lawsuits. Surely if those videos favored the police version of the shooting, they’d have it all over the news by now. Instead, the inquest has been postponed indefinitely.
Then again, maybe the inquest doesn’t matter anyway. In the last 34 years, inquest have exonerated all but one police officer who shot and/or killed someone. For reference, Metro has had 17 officer-involved shootings this year, five in the 34 days before the Scott shooting.
And there are still those who think that only the police should have guns? In another egregious case that thankfully didn’t involve a shooting, a police officer pulled her gun on another woman who pulled in front of her as both picked their kids up at school. If a civilian did that, they’d be in jail forever. A cop? Nope, we’ll look into it, thank you.
When did “to serve and protect” become “to intimidate and kill”?
I’m not anti-police by any stretch. Some of my friends out of high school became policemen. My landlord and neighbor in one place I lived years ago was a police detective and a great guy. The few interactions that I’ve had with the police over the years have mostly been cordial and always professional. What I am is pro-freedom and pro-accountability. The police shouldn’t have any more rights than civilians and must be held to the same level of accountability when they use their firearms.