Erik Scott’s death: what happens in the LVMPD, stays in the LVMPD


On July 10, Erik Scott, a West Point and Duke graduate, went shopping at Costco in Summerlin, Nevada.  He was carrying a concealed firearm, as permitted by Nevada state law.  Witness and officer reports differ on what happened next.  Allegedly, Scott began acting bizarrely, and would not leave the store.  Some accounts indicate Xanax and pain killers were in his system after subsequent testing.

It is not disputed that police were called to Costco, and upon seeing Scott, demanded that he drop his weapon (this was recorded on the 911 call, as well as confirmed by a witness).  As Mr. Scott reached for his holstered gun (which never left the holster) to drop his weapon, police shot him 2 times in the chest, 5 times in the back, killing him (more here).

The officers involved in the shooting were subsequently found to be “justified,” and of course were not charged with anything.  No doubt this case raises many issues; the first one is that of the right to concealed carry.  If you can be shot for “acting bizarrely” while posing no threat to anyone, then effectively, there really is no right to concealed carry.  The right does not in fact exist if you have the “right to carry” but can be shot arbitrarily.

Of course, there are always the typical apologists who justify police violence with the fact that the victim was non-compliant and thus deserved to be forced into submission. One would think these apologists have nothing to say here; Mr. Scott was shot precisely because he was obeying commands to “drop the firearm.” How can one drop a firearm without touching it?  A lot of police justifications center around the fact that several witnesses saw Mr. Scott reaching for a weapon.  There is no doubt the 911 recording reflects officer commands for Scott to drop the weapon; in essence, he was shot precisely for obeying police commands.  But what are facts to zombie-like police apologists, rushing rabidly to defend tyrants?  Lynn S (who is either totally uninformed or an idiot) had this to say in response to a news article on the matter:

If only Mr. Scott would of obeyed the policemans commands this would not be a issue. I hold a ccw card and that is the 1st thing they teach you OBEY a cop if confronted.Maybe a few too many pain pills ??? Sorry to the family , but quit trying to place the blame on the police and take a good look at your son.            –Lynn S

Victim-blaming. Tell the dead guy with 7 bulletholes and a heartbroken family and fiancee that it’s their fault.  Classic.  And classy, I might add (sarcasm). I used to think people were nuts for demanding blind obedience to cops.  Now I see it’s not just blind obedience to cops; it’s just a very general, obsequious love -fest for cops.  This unfounded deference borders on the obscene; even when you do obey them, when they shoot you it’s still your fault, not theirs.

The story continues to get sketchier from there.  Costco, a major wholesaler operating on the international scale, claims its surveillance camera was broken for days leading up to this incident. As such, no footage was available.

Shai Lierley, a Costco security guard now alleges he knew at the time the video was not working, and had arranged for repairs. Yet, initial news articles did not mention any alleged malfunction. It seems strange for Costco to turn (blank) security tapes over to police without mentioning any malfunction if they knew the camera was broken. This article indicates Costco and police refused to comment on the video initially.  It is again odd Costco wouldn’t just say such footage didn’t exist if they were aware the surveillance system was broken.

Further, it appears police sent the hard drive to a forensic analyst, allegedly to recover footage. Since when can you recover footage that doesn’t exist? If you knew your camera was broken and failed to record something, it doesn’t make sense to send it to a forensic analyst for retrieval.  You can’t retrieve something that never existed in the first place.

Admittedly, this is all speculative. However, even assuming there was no foul play with the convenient lack of surveillance, it is unquestionably ridiculous that a man can be shot for reaching for his gun when armed officers specifically commanded him to drop his gun.

When the story first broke in July, witness accounts differed from the police accounts. With a few minor discrepancies, 4 witnesses interviewed immediately afterward did not know why Scott was shot.  None of them saw Scott brandish a weapon.  One witness said, “There wasn’t even time for someone to react…The guy didn’t pull a gun. There was no gun in his hand, there was no gun on the ground.” Another witness similarly did not see Mr. Scott threaten anyone.  A July 28 update indicated there were floods of witnesses calling the station offering to give accounts.

Another eyewitness referenced in this article who was right next to Scott claims he didn’t have a gun in his hand or appear to be hostile in any way. The witness further said that once Scott was down and clearly not a threat, police treated his lifeless body “like a sack of potatoes.”

Metro Police Officer William Mosher testifying at the coroner’s inquest

More recently, witnesses at the coroner’s inquest have largely backed police accounts of Scott brandishing a weapon, holding a gun, reaching for a gun, or something to that effect. In the eyes of the jury involved in the coroner’s inquest, this appears to have justified the murder.  It is unclear why this is the case. Even assuming the witnesses claiming Scott made no threatening move were all lying, witnesses supporting the police’s account of events actually make this murder even more ridiculous.  If Scott was reaching for a weapon, he was doing so under police orders.

The level of incompetence required for a team of allegedly trained police to scream for a suspect to drop his weapon, but then to shoot him when he attempts to do so is almost incomprehensible.

Well, police have succeeded at their job.  No one was made safer.  A man is dead because of their incompetence and shameless use of violence, but their approval ratings are doing just fine.


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Georgia Sand

Georgia (George) Sand is an attorney located in sunny California. She enjoys beer, jogging, the beach, music, and chatting with her cats in her spare time.

  • alwalden

    There are flaws in your logic. Costco was asked for the tape from the camera and they complied. It’s a failure of civic duty for them to refuse on any supposed grounds; and furthermore you fail to consider that the unnamed “security guard” may or may NOT have accurately known that the camera wasn’t working, apart from which it may have functioned properly during this particular event. You also say that witnesses at the inquest described the victim as brandishing a weapon, yet you say this doesn’t “justify the murder”. No it doesn’t, but it DOES justify a homicide. There is not such thing as “justifiable murder” but this was ruled a justifiable homicide, not a “murder” of any sort, based on testimony given under oath.

    I’m really surprised to see such flagrant defects in an analysis by a UC law graduate.

  • Jenn

    The security guard testified he KNEW the surveillance camera was not working and had called someone to fix it. Sure, it’s possible he didn’t know what was going on; but at least if we take his word for it, it seems he knew it was broken. There’s no “flaw in logic” here. I’m not saying I knew what happened with the cameras. I was just pointing out that Costco’s behavior was not exactly forthright in this regard. Why refuse to comment if you knew it was broken? Why testify you “knew” it was malfunctioning if in fact, you did not?

    And no, brandishing a weapon does not justify a homicide in this case. I’m not sure you understood my point. My biggest problem with how this was handled was the fact that they yelled for him to drop the weapon, but then shot him when he did. Of course he brandished a weapon! How do you obey orders to drop a weapon without brandishing a weapon?!

    I didn’t graduate from a UC law school; I graduated from the University of San Diego School of Law. I don’t have any defects here. Perhaps the fact that I am an attorney caused you to believe I was making a legal argument; I am not. I am not at all commenting on whether police behaved legally; I am commenting on whether I believe police behaved morally.

    I was listing conflicting accounts of witnesses, and I challenge you to point out the logic flaw in criticizing someone for shooting a man for reaching for a weapon after specifically demanding that he drop the weapon. They may be legally justified post facto, but I do not believe this is right.

    Of course there is a specific legal definition for murder. This aside, whether something is a “murder” depends on whether you’re a statist. If you are, then whenever the government kills someone, you will jump to defend the police or government, or call it “collateral damage” or “preemptive war.” If you’re not a statist, busting out your guns, screaming for a man to drop his gun, and then shooting him when he proceeds to do so, could arguably be murder.

  • Andrew

    alwalden, unless the government produced a warrant, there was no “civic duty” nor binding obligation to produce or surrender the security tape.

  • KBCraig

    At the inquest, Officer Mosher testified that he screamed orders at Erik Scott for 30 seconds, and only fired when Scott pointed a gun directly at him.

    On the recording of the 911 call from the Costco security guard, we hear something very different. Scott has walked out with the rest of the crowd, and the employee says, “That’s him” to the police. Mosher yelled at Scott, who was facing the other way and walking away, and less than three seconds later fired three shots.

    The LV coroner’s inquest procedure is the inverse of a grand jury: instead of seeking an indictment despite evidence to the contrary, it seeks to clear the police despite evidence to the contrary. Just like a grand jury, only the prosecutor can vet jurors present evidence, and chose which evidence or witnesses appear. Also like a grand jury, the defense has no right to even appear, much less cross-examine witnesses or present exculpatory evidence.

    It might not be a corrupt syste, but they couldn’t make it look much more like one if they tried.

  • Guy Fawkes

    I never really got “open carry laws”. I don’t support gun control but I think everyone would be far better off if it was required that guns be carried concealed. I don’t see any advantages to open carry, but I sure can count some disadvantages.

    It makes cops nervous, NEVER a good thing!

    It’s a temptation to every moron crackhead and lowlife. Sure, easy enough if you see them, but one moment of inattention GONK, and your gun is gone.

    Belligerent, lowbrow 50IQ Joe Hardballs types will take it as a challenge(“oh youse thinks ya tough cauzz ya gots a gun, well I”MM gonna take dat and beat you with it). Yeah, you can shoot an idiot like that, but then you have legal problems(Oh, he was unarmed, how COULD you!!!???)

  • Don’t ever trust anyone who speaks out of the side of his mouth. The obviously cerebrally vacuous Mosher is a textbook example:

    And what cop would say, “Sir, drop the firearm” if that firearm were being pointed at him? It would invariably be: “Drop the fuckin’ gun!”

    This whole thing reeks of routine CYA.

  • Jenn

    KBC – I wholly agree with you. I am not exactly jumping to conclusions about the missing tape, and I understand there is at least one witness that says Scott pointed the gun at the officer. Still, the process seems to be extremely biased. What the hell took them 1 1/2 months to figure out there was NO footage? What happened to all those witnesses that spoke to the newspapers? Give cops’ propensity for loyalty to each other above all else, I find this whole thing highly suspicious.

  • Re: Alwalden: I believe that “murder” is intended to be taken in a moral, not legal, context in this article. In any case pointing out the author failed to correctly use legal jargon does not enlighten the subject matter whatsoever. If you intend to indict the author’s conclusion due to a lack of adherence to rules of civil procedure you may be mistaking ethical realities for the fictions of the courtroom.

    Anyway, as a police officer you murder people when you want a paid vacation. These guys are probably pissed their fishing time up at Lake Tahoe got cut off early by an overzealous rush to justify their actions. All other things being equal we’d probably be safer if they just spent tax money on buying the pigs boats and we took our chances with the rest of the world.

  • alwalden

    Jenn says in a response that “the security guard testified he KNEW the surveillance camera was not working”, but in her analysis she said that he “now alleges” this without mentioning him testifying about it. Obviously, if he testified to this she should have said so in her analysis, so now she’s muddying the waters as she did by describing the homicide as “murder”. All stores automatically perform the civic duty of supplying to the police camera recordings of incidents that involve violence, and Andrew’s claim that there is no such duty is laughable. On the other hand, I praise Jenn because in spite of her obvious bias she supplied the information that inquest witnesses testified that the victim brandished a gun, which would explain why they shouted at him to drop it and explains why it was ruled a justifiable homicide. End of story.

  • Jenn

    Thank you everyone, for all your great comments! One important thing I forgot to mention is how this is yet another example of how police are consistently treated as above the law the rest of us must abide by. When an ordinary person kills someone, they are charged, investigated, and may go to trial. Police get a coroner’s inquest, involving other law enforcement people (prosecutors), members of government, and have biased officials choose their witnesses, with no adversarial process.

    And somehow this is supposed to serve justice? If an ordinary person killed someone, would police allow him to create some haphazard process involving witnesses of his choice, and investigators who are essentially his coworkers? Would we believe him if he said that after he shot someone, he immediately sent his friend to retrieve the surveillance tape, and his friend sent it to yet another friend for forensic analysis, and months later, the 3 of them declared the tape contained no footage?

    Whether they complied with their own rules is irrelevant; the point is the system and their own rules allow them leniency, loopholes and lack of accountability, in an unacceptable manner.

  • The biggest and most glaring issue with the Coroner’s Inquest process is that the DA, who constantly works hand in hand with the police, is in charge of presenting the evidence that potentially could put cops he knows personally in legal jeopardy.

    That’s how you end up with a show trial in which not one single witness is called that contradicts the testimony that Scott pointed his weapon at the cops, in spite of a deluge of eyewitness accounts that stated exactly the opposite after the shooting. It’s also how you end up with not one single case of a police shooting being ruled unjustified EVER in the entire history of the Las Vegas Coroner’s Inquests.

  • Jenn,

    Thank you for your interest in this story. Please view the IMOErikBScott Youtube Channel for a recent Upload regarding the Public Administrator Breaking into Erik’s apartment. This occurred just hours after the shooting and the Public Administrator was accompanied by a Las Vegas Metro Police Officer.

    Your insights are very valuable for everyone following this horrific story.

    Thank you again,


  • Johnathan Doe

    After reading the one cops testimony that he told Erik to drop the gun, and then Erik had the gun and pointed it at him, so he fired, I felt right then the cops screwed up. Was it likely that the cop wanted to kill Erik, I doubt it. However, if it is true that Mosher ordered Erik to drop the gun, and he didn’t have a gun in his hand at the time, it seems Mosher is guilty of reckless homicide. Not only that, it appears the other two officers fired only after Mosher fired, likely due to an adrenaline dump of thinking there is an active shooter situation. I guess those two officers shot the guy in the backside.

    Either way, of course the state will justify it. The state has a hard enough time as it is getting decent folks to work in LE. No one who is just and honest wants to do the job. They could make much more in the private sector. They don’t want to deal with the stuff cops deal with on a regular basis. They don’t like the liability. They don’t care for the work schedules. You combine the statist types that are drawn to the job with those who run the state (politicians) and put the state over individual liberties and freedom running the show…its no wonder we have a police state. It also isn’t any wonder why the state will go out and protect their own. Half the folks in government wouldn’t be able to function if they didn’t believe their agents would come running to their every beckon call for assistance.

  • Why does government and society generally consider police diligent, more deserving of and safe to carry and utilize weapons but armed citizens as dangerous? Officer Mosher and many other cops remarkably resemble Curly of the Three Stooges. (See Retardid Policeman series on YouTube.) Cops don’t need to be healthy or wise when they can just shoot and Taser people at whim. Police should be disarmed and made to serve and protect unarmed while promoting more citizens being armed/allowed to open carry. How would cops and politicans like that?

  • rapscallion

    Here’s another fun fact about the inquest process about which I’ve seen little mention.

    According to the las vegas sun:

    The jury were given the following instructions:

    “He also said jurors would be asked to determine if the shooting was justifiable, excusable or criminal. He said “excusable” should be the verdict if they thought the shooting was accidental. He said “justifiable” should be arrived at if they determined the shooting was in self defense or in defense of someone else.”

    So, if a cop’s gun accidentally goes off and kills someone, that’s excusable.

  • William

    I hope Mr. Scott’s father is able to get a real investigation going. Since I read on William Grigg’s site that he has some pull w/ military and some intelligence agencies. My condolences to the family and fiance.

  • Dustin

    Not only was it justified, he deserved it. Punk.

  • Guy Fawkes

    It looks like a severe case of Rashomon effect ( ), with witnesses offering conflicting testimony. Would have been nice if there was a recording of the event…

  • Paul Schmehl

    KBCraig provided the only relevant facts that you need to determine that Erik’s shooting was not justified. I challenge anyone to try the following experiment and then explain what chance Erik had.

    Get three people together; one to be Erik, one to be Officer Mosher and one to be the timer. Have “Erik” walk past “Mosher” (so that his back is to Mosher). Immediately have the timer yell, “That’s him! That’s him!’. Then have Mosher yell the following in response (taken directly from the 911 recording), “Put your hands where I see them! Drop it! Get on the ground! Get on the ground!”

    When “Mosher” starts yelling, the timer should start the stopwatch, counting down from three seconds, and “Erik” should turn to face “Mosher”. When “Erik” hears “Drop it!”, have him reach for a weapon concealed under his shirt on his right side (you have to pull up your shirt with the left hand and then grab the weapon with the right hand, remove it from its holster and bring it to bear on your target.)

    When the stopwatch reaches zero, have the timer loudly yell, “Stop!”

    I challenge anyone to get their hand on the weapon before they are shot by “Mosher”. I have listened to the 911 tape at least 30 times. The elapsed time from the first command issued to the first bullet fired is slightly less than 3 seconds.

    Erik Scott was murdered before he ever had a chance to comply with the officer’s commands.

  • Ed

    What is the more obscene and immoral is that the DA and the cops were allowed to obfuscate the relevant issue (did Erik actually point a weapon at the officer justifying lethal force in self-defense) by engaging in character assassination and innuendo to make Erik look like a bad guy worthy of death.

    The DA and police main effort was to portray Erik as a drug-crazed animal. Another point brought out was that Erik had a Ruger .380 in his pocket, but that gun was not listed on his CCW, so at the time he was carrying the gun he was, in fact, a felon.

    Is having prescribed pain medication in your system now a capital offense? If so, you would think the cops would have waited to get a drug screen on him BEFORE they shot him! And are the cops saying they shot Erik for felony possession of a firearm?

    Whether Erik had high levels of pain killer in his system or had an unauthorized pistol in his pocket are irrelevancies. The sole issue is: What did Erik do or not do at the time when he was confronted by the police to legally justify the police use of deadly force against him?

    Everything else is just an effort by the DA and police to inflame the jurors’ prejudices against Erik, and the judge should not have let them come in.

  • How do you drop something that’s not in your hand?

    Mosher is going to have to explain the order of commands and why he shot Mr. Scott who was just following the orders given to him during an ambush.

  • alwalden

    Ed says that the question is “What did Erik do or not do”. But Jenn’s analysis describes witnesses testifying that he was “brandishing a weapon, holding a gun, reaching for a gun, or something to that effect”, which would explain why the cops were heard telling him to drop it. Jenn’s analysis describes NO testimony that he didn’t brandish or attempt to brandish a weapon, only a claim that witnesses had told cops that he didn’t. Obviously, these witnesses didn’t testify at the inquest. This is an open and shut case of justifiable homicide and might even be a suicide by cop.

  • Jenn

    Actually, that doesn’t mean it’s an open and shut case. It means there were plenty of witnesses, and the sham of a process that is the coroner’s inquest didn’t use any terribly unfavorable witnesses. It was hardly an adversarial process. Do you think that if it was an ordinary person, they’d let him pick and choose witnesses?

  • Paul Schmehl

    alwalden, you could not be more wrong. You write, “Jenn’s analysis describes NO testimony that he didn’t brandish or attempt to brandish a weapon, only a claim that witnesses had told cops that he didn’t.”

    Of course there wasn’t, because THE DA NEVER CALLED THEM TO THE STAND. The LV inquest process is a one-sided process designed to excuse LEO behavior, no matter how egregious. Before Erik’s inquest, a previous inquest found an officer involved shooting justified when the cop shot an unarmed man, on his knees with his hands above his head, at close range in the head, killing him instantly.

    Does that sound justified to you? If so, I suggest you move to a country ruled by tyrants. It sounds like you would be very comfortable in that environment.

    Answer my comment about the three seconds. If you can still call it justified, you’re a cop.

  • alwalden

    I know that cops almost always lie in court and have no respect for the truth, but there’s no reason to lend credence to Paul Schmehl’s claims based on the information in Jenn’s analysis. Paul claims that the DA only picked witnesses who favored justifiable homicide for the inquest, but Jenn didn’t describe in her analysis witnesses complaining of being excluded from testifying, Paul merely CONJECTURES that this happened without providing any proof of it whatsoever. As far as his claim of what happened in a *previous* inquest, it’s ridiculous because he provides no evidence of such an inquest, no link, nothing but his hard blowing. I don’t care how *legal* it is for a civilian to walk around with an unconcealed weapon, he shouldn’t be doing it if he’s not a cop or security guard, and if his exposed weapon winds up frightening a cop into shooting him, I say good riddance to stupid rubbish.

  • Paul Schmehl

    alwalden, what planet do you live on? I said no such thing. I SPECIFICALLY addressed your claim that there was no testimony that Erik did not brandish his weapon. I even QUOTED you, for crying out loud. And I NEVER stated that the DA only picked witnesses who favored justifiable homicide. I said the DA did NOT pick any witnesses that stated that Erik did not draw his weapon. That’s a simple statement of fact.

    Your last sentence reveals your bias against legally armed citizens as well as your ignorance of the Constitution. It is clear you aren’t interested in dialogue or learning facts that don’t fit into your world view. You may want to live in a world where frightening a cop deserves a death sentence, but I suspect you are in a distinct minority.

    For your information, I watched all six days of the inquest testimony, so I know exactly what went on in the inquest. I’m also quite familiar with the issues in Erik’s and Trevon’s cases and believe that the LVMPD is completely out of control and needs new leadership based on the outcomes of those two inquests. (The civil trials will almost certainly have dramatically different results.)

    As to the previous inquest to which I refer that you dismiss with a wave of your biased hand, in this day of the internet one assumes that readers have some basic search skills to research for themselves rather than dismissing out of hand the statements of other commenters. To save you the time, the young man’s name was Trevon Cole, and you can read about his inquest here:–shooting-victim–made-me-do-my-job–as-testimony-continues-101234024.html

    He was shot in the head by a police detective whose testimony even the District Attorney found difficult to believe.

  • Guy Fawkes


    You lost all credibility when you went off on your retarded anti gun rant about how someone complying with the law deserves to be shot because they “make cops nervous”. I discussed my opinion of open carry in a previous post here; I think it’s a bad idea. However if that is the law then carrying concealed will get you arrested.

  • alwalden

    Guy Fawkes indicates that there is no concealed carry law in Washington, which I can’t dispute because I live in a different state, but this seems extremely dubious claim to me, as some politicians who have been threatened can’t go parading around like John Wayne with a gun displayed on their hip, so they obtain a permit for concealed carry. I have no objection to civilians obtaining a permit and carrying a concealed weapon when it’s justified, but this Wild West John Wayne nonsense is ridiculous. I repeat what I said in my previous comment, that any civilian who walks around armed like John Wayne and gets blown away because he spooked a cop deserves what he got.

  • alwalden

    I erred in saying the incident was in Washington, I forgot it was Nevada. As far as Paul Schmehl’s response goes, I was commenting about the information provided by Jenn in her analysis of this case, and I have no interest in *researching* about some *other previous* inquest. I don’t give a pluck about Trevon Cole’s inquest, that’s a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT CASE.

  • Paul Schmehl

    @alwalden “As far as Paul Schmehl’s response goes, I was commenting about the information provided by Jenn in her analysis of this case, and I have no interest in *researching* about some *other previous* inquest. I don’t give a pluck about Trevon Cole’s inquest, that’s a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT CASE.”

    And yet you have no problem forming opinions about the case despite the fact that you are ignorant. Thanks for that clarification.

  • alwalden

    Paul Schmehl claims I’m *ignorant* about the Scott case even though my opinion is based on Jenn’s analysis that describes inquest testimony of Scott brandishing a weapon and no testimony contradicting this, only talk of people who *spoke to police* but didn’t testify. Nor did Jenn’s analysis describe any people as complaining that they were disregarded by the DA for the inquest as Paul Schmehl IGNORANTLY alleges.

  • @alwalden: I am not sure what “testimony” you are referring to. There was no testimony that Erik was “brandishing a weapon.” There is testimony that, upon being confronted and surprised by numerous LVMPD officers, once told to “drop it”, Erik reached back to his weapon to drop it. That’s the only testimony that was presented. Maybe I missed something. Can you point me to this info please?

  • Guy Fawkes


    I don’t know what the concealed permit process is in Nevada, but I would guess putting down as the reason “I don’t want to get shot by nervous cops”, or “I don’t want crackheads making a play for my gun” would not get you one. Your issue should be with the law, not with people complying with it. They have a word for what you want; cops being allowed to shoot anyone who makes them nervous, it’s called anarchy. Just what do you think is going to happen if cops make it a policy to gun down anyone complying with open carry who makes them nervous? Anyone carrying seeing a cop making THEM nervous is going to want to get the drop on the officer and will shoot him. Are you a cop? Do you know any? If so I hope it’s not your or any cops that you know’s policy to shoot people who make you nervous.

  • Jenn

    Chris Levy – this link talks about a witness who allegedly saw Mr. Scott point a weapon at an officer:

    Awalden – your main beef seems to be that I didn’t talk about witnesses complaining they were excluded. You seem to argue that since we haven’t heard witnesses complaining, that there must have been no such witnesses, or that it wasn’t a big deal, or something liek that.

    Well, given that there were witnesses who differed from these accounts, and this was not an adversarial process, and that the witnesses were chosen by law enforcement, and the police are given this special treatment of a “coroner’s inquest” instead of being charged with homicide, and then going to trial (as would be the case with EVERY OTHER PERSON), don’t you think you’re basically just picking at irrelevant technicalities?

    Do you really need one of the witnesses to go to the news and say, “i would like to complain about being left out of the coroner’s inquest” in order to conclude that clearly, there were differing accounts that were not accorded the same importance and weight, and that clearly, a normal trial would not have been conducted in this manner?

  • I want to point out the following:

    1. This gal is wearing coke bottle glasses. She’s going to be hard pressed when cross-examined in court.

    2. She says: “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.” Erik was complying with the Police Officer’s instructions when he was shot. They told him to drop the weapon. He reached back and grabbed it was extending his arm out to drop it.

    3. Another witness, standing 5 feet away says: 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.

    4. Both of these witnesses just contradicted each other. The gal above says he pointed it at the police. The CCW licensee says he didn’t. Which is it?

  • Jenn

    Good point, Chris. I was trying to give police the benefit of the doubt in my article – meaning, even if all their good witnesses are to be believed, the shooting was still unjustified.

    But at any rate, there are a lot of contradictions here. Even ignoring all the contradictions, the fact that they don’t do a legitimate investigation, do not charge the officers with anything, do not use an adversarial process, and basically spoon feed them favorable witnesses and viable defenses makes the entire thing a total sham of a process.

  • I agree. Without crossing the legal boundaries in regards to posting statements about what I think about officer Mosher’s conduct, I will say, NATIONWIDE, we need a process for when police come into contact with CHL/CCW licensees. Here in Austin I had a similar incident on a much smaller scale. I felt like the police here handled themselves really well, didn’t endanger themselves and generally were professional while being safe.

    It’s about time we had a national dialogue about how to strengthen the ties between licensed concealed handgun owners and the police that operate in their cities etc. We are here to provide an additional layer of safety and security, and not become a victim of it at the same time.

  • al walden

    The way injustice is uncovered is via investigations. For instance, if news reporters or one of the geniuses accusing the cops in comments here had contacted the witnesses, who then confirmed they told cops Scott didn’t brandish a gun, they might have an argument. This didn’t happen, so they’re just blowing hot air.

  • BIll

    This is Mosher’s second murder what an amazing coincidence. Police told him to drop weapon and get on ground then lie in the inquest. Mosher is grotesque vile human being, wake up people a 2 week training course to run around like an out of control cowboy then get a paid vacation on the taxpayers dime. Our D.A. our sheriff should share a cell for life with this murderer. More murders to come with no justice. Now we lose an actual working taxpayer while 3 who leech over 300,000 in combined salaries get vacations. With this shitty d.a. and corrupt sheriff things will not change and more taxpaying citizens will be harassed and murdered. How about 1 drug test to get hired then never again even after a murder neat huh. Would you want this fat slob to come to your house if you had a break in not me.

  • @ al walden: Not yet at least. Keep in mind the family and Erik’s Estate must go through a long and well-documented drawn out process here. They are just concluding their initial steps here with waiting for the Coroner’s Inquest. From here, as you can imagine, it’s a winding, twisting, turning pathway of legal processes to play out.

    Nobody knows what will happen from here. We do know that the family and Erik’s Estate has not publicly presented their defense, assuming they have one. I don’t know personally.



  • Dr. Q

    al walden: “I don’t care how *legal* it is for a civilian to walk around with an unconcealed weapon, he shouldn’t be doing it if he’s not a cop or security guard, and if his exposed weapon winds up frightening a cop into shooting him, I say good riddance to stupid rubbish.”

    So if an average Joe (i.e., non-police officer) kills a cop and tells the jury “He had an exposed weapon and I was frightened,” should he be given a get-out-of-jail-free card too? Or does it only work one way?

    If you seriously believe that police — people whose primary purpose is to enforce the law — should be able to violate one of the most fundamental aspects of US law (remember: no person can “be deprived of life… without due process of law”) simply because they are “frightened” or “spooked,” then what exactly is the point of law? What’s the point of having police?

  • He wasn’t carrying unconcealed. He came unconcealed for a brief few seconds in the store many minutes prior to being shot.

    At the time he was shot, he was reportedly in the process of obeying the police officer’s command to “drop it”. The firearm actually never came out of it’s holster.

    It’s hard to believe you called this deceased Man, rubbish. He wasn’t rubbish when he was willingly throwing himself into harm’s way serving your defense and safety needs?

  • Jenn

    I went to the link IMOErik cited above. It appears that police searched Erik’s house after he died, for weapons and other items. This is highly suspicious as well. After you kill a man, if it was justified, why would you go to his house, and search for random items and weapons? There are just so many contradictions, weird things, and suspect elements about how law enforcement handled this entire situation.

    It’s the police who are rubbish in this instance!

  • Paul Schmehl

    I watched all six days of the inquest. I can tell you that witness testimony was all over the place – filled with inconsistencies and outright contradictions.

    For example, one witness, who wants to be a cop, testified that Erik assumed a shooting position and reached for his gun. He said, “I knew what came next and turned away so my son would be shielded in case bullets came my way.” (That is a paraphrase, not a direct quote.)

    Another witness, who claimed extensive experience with firearms, testified that he saw the unholstered gun in Erik’s right hand, pointing at the officer, and recognized it as a Sig Sauer based on the stampings on the slide. (I own two Sigs. There are no stampings on the right hand side of the slide, which was this witness’s point of view. Furthermore, Erik’s holstered and registered Kimber 1911 was found either on the ground or still attached to his belt [depending upon who you believe] after he was deceased.)

    Other witnesses claimed that 1) they saw a gun, 2) they saw a holstered gun, 3) they saw him point something at the officer, 4) they never saw him draw, 5) they saw him reach to his right, etc., etc., etc.

    This is not at all unusual, as several academic studies have shown. Witness testimony is influenced by many things, including personal experience, the trauma of the event, the testimony of other witnesses, the biases of the witness and numerous other factors. Witness testimony is therefore unreliable and only useful as an adjunct to evidentiary testimony, to add “depth” to an event or to determine the locations of various observers.

    Based upon the 911 recording and the witness testimony, it is my belief that Erik reached for his weapon to hand it to the officers but was shot before he ever touched it. It is nearly impossible to draw a holstered, concealed weapon in less than two seconds, and Erik only had three from the time of the first shouted command to 1) turn and face the officer, 2) recognize that he was the one the officer was addressing and 3) try to turn over his weapon.

  • Paul Schmehl

    @alwalden “Paul Schmehl claims I’m *ignorant* about the Scott case even though my opinion is based on Jenn’s analysis that describes inquest testimony of Scott brandishing a weapon and no testimony contradicting this, only talk of people who *spoke to police* but didn’t testify.”

    Ignorant means not in possession of all the facts. If all you have read is Jenn’s article, you are ignorant, because you don’t have the full story. That should have been self-evident, since the purpose of Jenn’s article was to express a point of view about the case, not to inform the reader of all the facts related to the case. She gave a brief two paragraph overview, some of it inaccurate (Erik was not carrying openly – his weapon was concealed) and then expressed her opinion of the case.

    Yet you have no problem expressing strong opinions about the story, based entirely upon your biases apparently, since you’ve ignored all the additional information given to you subsequently.

    That makes you both ignorant and obstreperous. It also makes me wonder why you bother to express an opinion at all. If you seriously believe any intelligent person would be swayed by opinions expressed from ignorance, you are deluding yourself.

  • alwalden

    Paul Schmehl makes another ridiculous comment in which he claims I have some sort of duty to go beyond Jenn’s analysis, when in fact this thread of comments is about Jenn’s analysis, not some *additional* elements that Paul Schmehl claims exist elsewhere. Then he accuses Jenn of having an unreliable bias even though her bias is obviously AGAINST the cops, since she accuses them of “murder” in a case in which she reported inquest testimony that Scott did in fact brandish a weapon and none at the inquest that contradicted this. If Paul Schmehl can write a better piece than Jenn, he should do so and stop expecting commenters about Jenn’s piece to believe his claims based on who-knows-what. In his piece, he can present the evidence that witnesses who told cops Scott didn’t brandish a gun said they were disregarded by the DA when he lined up his inquest witnesses. After Paul Schmehl writes his oh-so-grand-version, we can then comment on it. But he won’t do that, he’d rather just sit on his fat behind and make stuff up for his comments.

  • Paul Schmehl

    @alwalden “Paul Schmehl makes another ridiculous comment in which he claims I have some sort of duty to go beyond Jenn’s analysis”

    I never stated that.

    “Then he accuses Jenn of having an unreliable bias”

    I never stated that.

    If you’re going to respond to me (or about me), quote me, as I do you. Otherwise your strawman arguments are just that. You’ve mastered the art of assumption and innuendo but haven’t the slightest clue about making reasonable arguments.

  • alwalden

    Again I point out that Jenn states that more than one inquest witness confirmed Scott brandishing a gun, and none testified to the contrary, so Paul Schmehl needs to present his proof that witnesses who told cops Scott didn’t brandish a gun said they were later disregarded by the DA when called inquest witnesses. If Paul Schmehl can’t produce such proof, he should just STFU.

  • Paul Schmehl

    @alwalden – would you like me to breathe for you too?

    This is a small part of the inquest testimony.

    “He said Scott held the gun in his hand, which was down at his side.”

    “I didn’t see him aiming a gun at anyone specifically,”

    “Scott raised his hand to his waist, but he didn’t see a gun, Cooper said.”

    “He saw Scott with his hand at his waist, and at the same time heard two shots.”

    “He didn’t see Scott point anything at the officer or take an aggressive stance at the officer, ”

    Statements reported two days after the shooting:

    “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.”

    ‘ “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.’

    ‘ “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.’

    Neither of these witnesses were called to testify at the inquest.

    Keep bleating. You’re looking less and less rational by the minute.

  • John

    You need to go back to school Jenn cause everything u wrote is incorrect and only ur views as to what u “believed” occurred. I think it’s pretty clear here that no matter how justified the officer was you would still write negatively about it… It’s just ur way… Don’t forget that cops are hand picked because of the good things that they have done in life and the fact that they have always followed the law. Don’t be to quick to make judgment cause you don’t experience what officers experience on a constant basis and place their lives on the line, with the chance of never seeing their families again, to protect the
    Iives of the stranger each day.

  • Jenn

    Oops, concealed carry not open. Let me fix that. But that doesn’t really change anything. Point still stands –

    1) He was shot for reaching for his gun after he was told to “drop the weapon”
    2) He was shot for acting “bizarrely”
    3) Police were not charged or dealt with in a manner remotely similar to how a lowly, ordinary citizen would have been
    4) A coroner’s inquest is not an adversarial process

    John – what makes you think officers always follow the law? I see them park illegally, and kill, taser, and beat the shit out of people all the time. I don’t have to be a Nazi or walk a day in their shoes to know racism, torture and violence are wrong.

  • Jenn

    I didn’t say there were no witness accounts to the contrary at the inquest. I said witness accounts “largely backed police,” which is why the jury found the shooting justified during the inquest. Obviously, witness accounts largely backed that of police at the inquest – otherwise, how would the jury have found the police were justified?

  • @Paul: Ding. There is no consensus on what happened. There is photographic proof that Erik’s Kimber 1911 was still in the holster when recovered by the LVMPD and it was presented and the inquiry.

    @John: Your grammar needs a bit of work.

    On that note, Police Officers aren’t hand picked. They are the result of the applicants who make it through the process. Nobody knows if they have absolutely “always followed the law.” It’s irrelevant here.

    And in conclusion, yes, many of us know that Police Officers go through. In fact, Erik himself had placed himself in harms way as a Veteran and as an Army tank platoon leader and company staff officer. Keep in mind, Erik was actually hand-picked to attend West Point, Commissioned into the US Army to lead a combat unit and was Honorably Discharged Veteran dealing with a complex physical injury. He had been in a car accident (not his fault) the night before and was lawfully carrying a concealed weapon at the time of his demise.



  • al walden

    John is a hilarious shill for cops, saying they *always follow the law*, I’ve been duking it out here in my comments with conspiracy theorists who claim all kinds of cop and DA improprieties in the Scott case without presenting a shred of evidence thereof, but it’s obvious that the cops do in fact lie all the time in court, which isn’t *following the law* because it’s PERJURY.

  • Jess

    If Erik Scott was indeed acting “bizerk” inside the store, we would have seen video proof to this. No such video exists. Wonder why? If Erik Scott did indeed draw his weapon on Police, that video would have been shown. No such video exisits, because it didn’t occur.

    Costco and Police allowed Erik Scott to leave the store to get another cart and come back in while Police were on property. WTF? Then Costco tried to claim he didn’t leave the store and got his second cart inside. …So the public is suppose to believe this is the only Costco to ever keep their carts inside and the only Costco that had survillence that was always not working? Seriously? Come on!
    He exited the store with his fiance as everyone else and had no idea he had an arsenal waiting for him outside. He was then given conflicting comands to not move, drop it and get on the ground. If you listen to the 911 tape…Police gave him 3.2 seconds to respond to all those commands…then they shot him after 3.2 seconds, when he was right next to his fiance and a crowd of people around him. The shot him once in the chest…then again in the chest…he was clearly down and could not be a treat in any manner after that (which he was never) so he is down and the Police proceed to shoot him FIVE!!! more times in the back…come on!!! This is so wrong!!!
    My heart goes out to his fiance and the Scott family. I am so sorry for your loss. May justice one day be yours. RIP ERIK

  • Fat Ray

    LVMPD is far from police work of that of good Ole Office Barney Fife. People have a misconception of what police work actually is. To this day, most citizens think “police work” is “solving crimes.” It is common for even bright people to still think that professional police “solve” murders, robberies and rapes. In Erik Scott’s case, the investigators were evaluated on their ability to create crimes out of the horrific murder. They went as far as attempting to smear his name, running ads in local papers about him being heavily intoxicated with “drugs.” They performed a search of his residence after the fact of his murder. All this in a poor attempt to justify their own cover-up.

    People who were once tasked with “upholding the law” have now become “agents of social control.” America used to be the land of the free. As a whole, our country has taken our freedoms as they have started to “regulate” every aspect of our social liberties.

    It is no longer okay for an individual to display personal expression without being profiled. One cannot enjoy the liberty of riding a motorcycle or wearing their favorite team logo. Shame on those who drive a custom automobile or spike their hair.

    When does it all end? My heart goes out the the Scott family. Please know that there are others who will stand behind you and support your fight for justice.

    “Si Vis Pacem, Parabellum.”

  • Vitto

    The whole inquest into the murder of this man was arranged the way it was to cover up what happend to Trevon Cole.They diverted attention away from the obvious murder to one they had a way to cover up.And b.t.w , last night at the corner of Pecos and Desert Inn,they did it again.

  • Jenn

    Hi Vitto,

    Thanks for reading. I agree with you. Thanks for informing me of the Pecos and Desert Inn thing. I will have to look into that.

  • Thanks for the terrific analysis and coverage, Jenn. I’m Erik’s dad, and the guy behind dozens of blog entries about Las Vegas Metro’s corrupt, brutal police force.

    If you and your readers are interested in following this case, my other son, Kevin, and I are writing a book of fiction based on the actual events of Erik Scott’s murder. Entitled “The Permit,” it’s serialized, with a new chapter posted online every couple of weeks at: It also can be accessed from Erik’s memorial website:

    “The Permit” is strictly fiction, but many of its elements are factual. I leave it to the reader to decide what’s fiction and what’s fact.

    Again, many thanks for the great work on Erik’s behalf. I assure you, the Las Vegas cops screwed up big time, and my son was murdered in cold blood — for absolutely no reason. He never came close to reaching for his concealed weapon. Erik was killed, because he had a BlackBerry smartphone in his hand, and Officer Mosher couldn’t tell a cell phone from a Kimber .45. Huge mistake, but only Erik paid with his life. Mosher’s back on the streets and a threat to other innocent citizens. LV Metro teamed up with the Public Administrator and District Attorney to cover up their mistakes, aided by a one-sided, ridiculous excuse for a “legal” coroner’s inquest hearing. Disgusting.

    May justice be done on Erik’s behalf.

  • Jenn

    @ Bill Scott – thank you so much for reading, and for sharing this information with us. It is the first I had heard that Erik was holding a cell phone. I am truly sorry for your loss. The manner in which this was handled by the justice system and law enforcement is truly atrocious and tragic. We will continue to followup with Erik’s memorial website and check out your book. Best wishes to you!

  • Marc

    After reading this account–and the many responses–I’m left with a nagging feeling that something simply doesn’t add up.

    I would like to preface this with a personal story in which I was in a similar situation a few years ago. After having my property damaged numerous times by a careless developer (my opinion is that it was intentional vandalism) I walked into the developer’s office one day (the police had already told me they couldn’t do anything about it) and told one of the managers “if you continue to trespass on people’s property without warning and damage it, someone’s likely to end up getting shot one day.”

    I went home and within minutes a SWAT team showed up and I was staring straight down the barrel of a 45 semi-auto pointed right between my eyes at point blank range. I could see the officer’s finger twitching nervously on the trigger, and intuitively knew my time on this earth was about over. I was disarmed of my telephone which I had ironically had a police dispatcher on the line to report the latest vandalism.

    As it turned out, the developer manager, according to the officer in command at the scene, had called the police and said “Marc xxxx had just been in our office, and said he was going home to get a gun and was coming back to shoot us.” (I had no firearms of any kind).

    I bring this up because I believe the incident was precipitated by a spurious account on the part of the developer–and once the word gun or firearm enters the conversation, then the seriousness–and unpredictability–of people’s actions, observations and responses greatly elevate.

    If Nevada and Las Vegas law recognizes carry and conceal permits; I would think theoretically Erik had the right to carry the weapon into the store unless otherwise posted or excluded by local law. An unconcealed carry is predictably going to cause excitement, and wherever firearms are concerned people tend to assume the worse case scenario unless the bearer wears a uniform.

    I bring this up because how the store responded to the carry and it’s report to the police may have been a major factor in Erik’s fate. I’m not defending the police in any way–but they may have been under a “potential worse case scenario” mindset from the get-go depending upon the store’s report. As far as I know, the police are held to the same standard of justifiable homicide as the rest of us are; is there an immediate and imminent threat of death or serious bodily injury. Given the facts of legal carry status in the store and the potential for liability on the part of the store–I’m totally mystified by releasing them early on in potential litigation.

  • Jenn

    Hi Mark, thank you for sharing your story. You bring up some good points about problems that may arise when vindictive people lie to police. Regardless of how people report stories though, police should be trained to deal with such situations. They seem all to eager to meet violence not with a smart plan of how to diffuse the situation, not with reasonable measures, but with 10x the violence, regardless of whether it is appropriate or not.

    Unfortunately, police are not held to the same standard of justifiable homicide that we are. Police are generally not charged when they claim they feared for their lives. For normal people, “fearing for your life” is not enough. You must have REASONABLY feared for your life. If you knowingly kill someone, it’s murder. If you reasonably kill someone in defense of yourself or another, it’s justified. However, if you honestly believed you were in danger, but that belief was not reasonable, some states allow for a “imperfect self-defense” defense, and will drop the murder charge to a manslaughter charge – but nevertheless, a person in this situation would still be charged with a homicide of some sort.

    For example, take Officer Ian Birk who shot John Williams in Seattle. If he were an ordinary person, he would have at least been charged with some kind of manslaughter charge, because his fear that an elderly, hobbling, half deaf man who was walking in the opposite direction with a FOLDED 3-inch whittling knife, would kill him simply was not reasonable. Officer Birk probably was lying about fearing for his life, but even if he truly, sincerely feared for his life, if he were any other person but a police officer, he would be charged with some kind of manslaughter. He was charged with nothing.

    This is just one example, but this is frequently the case with police, and independent of society’s views on concealed carry and people’s tendencies to lie, the fact of the matter is – police simply are not held to the same standards for justifiable homicide as the rest of us are.

  • just.visiting

    This article lost ALL credebility in the first paragraph. I barely bothered reading anything else. “He was carrying a concealed firearm, as permitted by Nevada state law.” “Some accounts indicate Xanax and pain killers were in his system after subsequent testing.” It was CONFIRMED through an autopsy (not conducted by LVMPD btw) that Mr Scott had unusually high amounts of perscription medications in his system. So already I think the coroner’s account is all that is necessary. Secondly, it is NOT permitted by Nevada state law (specifically nrs 202.257) to be in possession of any firearm while intoxicated or under the influence of a controlled substance.

  • copblock1234


  • jay

    LVMPD is out of control I have a Rogue Cop calling my house threating my family members tried to file complaint with Internal affairs what a JOKE

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  • Ian MacLeod


    There’s something I’d like to add here to your comment about an “adversarial process”: twenty or thirty years ago – back when the police in most places were highly respected and almost universally trusted, ONE of the reasons for that was that adversarial process you’re talking about, and it began with an internal investigation by Internal Affairs. Even honest cops were afraid of them – they worked VERY hard to prove guilt! Some thought too hard, but when they cleared a cop there was no possible doubt! Since corporate law and lawyers took over almost everything in this country, in most places “regular people” have almost no chance. Even “defense attorneys” are working with the prosecutors, and encourage “plea-bargaining for a shorter sentence” whether someone is guilty or not. Then that “short sentence” turns out to be ten years or more!

    Our “unalienable rights” are strictly on paper now, and there they will stay unless WE change it! Those who own the corporations and the Central Banking system (including the “Federal” Reserve) believe that WE are their property along with every square inch of America. Society is now set for maximum corporate profits, NOT any sort of fairness. There’s an effort now happening to reinstate Citizen Common Law courts. I’ll have to see how that goes – it IS what America was always supposed to be under.

    Norm Stamper, former Seattle Chief of Police during that World Trade Conference with the Bilderburgers in attendance, said that Law Enforcement is now being “…conditioned to regard citizens as “The Enemy.” He never said how, but it looks to me like, first, they HIRE thugs, and second, they no longer require A.J. courses for advancement. I’m starting to wonder about steroid use and other, more overt, literal conditioning. What this cop looks to have done was the kind of cowardice I’ve seen in the field before (I worked ambulance). They’re scared to DEATH facing someone who may be armed! They’re also afraid they might get punched in the nose and HURT, for Pete’s sake! They draw weapons against anyone who may know a little about fighting, never mind someone who’s armed, legally or not! A coward is forced to use maximum force, and preferably by surprise – like maybe from behind if possible. That way he CAN’T be hurt. Lying doesn’t matter; that’s what both cowards, lawyers AND corporations DO. Also, the cops I worked with would NEVER have aimed for center-of-mass like that (much less fire at someone who’s down!) when they’re standing point-blank! But then, THEY used to practice – a LOT.

    There really IS a “Depopulation Agenda,” and the police are a part of it. Cops like this will go right along with citizen roundups, legal or not. Hell, they don’t seem to know the Law at all, and could care less. There are some good cops still; we have a P.D. mostly made up of them in this dinky little town I’m in. In other places though, they seem to be leaving the field, realizing that their own families are in danger and it may get a lot worse soon. We’re on the knife’s edge right now. I wish I could see which way things are going to fall!


  • Joseph Ziehm

    Sounds to me like crooked cops, protecting other crooked cops, and having unwritten shoot to kill orders. You may want to advise the legal team to obtain e-mail from servers to address the issues of unwritten orders. The only reason why a majority of these cops are not behind bars is the level of corruption involved.

  • Joseph Ziehm

    Go rat f*ck and instigate or agitate a situation somewhere else you piece of sh*t. If you were in private-sector securities working with me or for me I’d know you’d be crooked. I’d just have to find out how to ask whether or not you’d make a good father behind bars? Judging that your a cop you wouldn’t kill yourself but you’d roll if things got to heavy and to fast.

  • bigbird2071

    You and them…nothing but effing pigs!

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