Wendy Wolkenstein never saw a gun in Erik Scott's hand.
That didn't mean she saw no threat.
As she left the Summerlin Costco store, she found herself near Scott as a Las Vegas police officer held him at gunpoint and shouted at him to get on the ground.
Scott responded by raising his right hand toward his waist, and she quickly pushed her two children behind a stone pillar for safety, Wolkenstein said.
Then she heard the gunshots.
"I just wish Erik just would have gotten to the ground," she testified Saturday. "It's very upsetting."
She was among a parade of 17 witnesses to testify during the fourth day of a Clark County coroner's inquest into Scott's July 10 death at the hands of Las Vegas police officers William Mosher, Joshua Stark and Thomas Mendiola.
A Costco employee called police because the 38-year-old medical device salesman was acting erratically, carrying a gun in the store and refusing to leave. Scott's postmortem blood test showed high levels of the painkiller morphine and the anti-anxiety drug Xanax.
Although eyewitness accounts usually contain inconsistencies, a majority of witnesses Saturday said they either saw Scott pull a gun or thought he was about to do so when his hand went to his hip. Most also said they heard just one officer shouting at Scott to get on the ground.
Shopper Dain Szafranski testified that he was leaving the store with his mother and 2-year-old son when he heard a police officer yelling at someone to get on the ground.
He said he turned and saw Scott standing in front of the officer, displaying what appeared to be argumentative body language and tone of voice. Suddenly, Scott reached for his hip as if to draw a weapon, he said.
"It looked like two people were going to have a gunfight," said Szafranski, who graduated from a local police academy earlier this year but does not work for the police.
Szafranski said he immediately turned and ran toward the parking lot as several shots were fired. After ensuring his family was safe behind some cars, he returned to the store, expecting to find several gunshot victims.
But he saw only Scott on the ground, with a holstered handgun near his body.
Another witness, Eileen Nelson, said she exited the store and saw an officer with his gun aimed at Scott.
"He yelled, 'Get down. Get down on the ground.' That's when Mr. Scott slowly turned and lifted his right arm," she said.
As he turned, Scott had a holster in his hand and pointed in the direction of the officer, Nelson said.
He was holding the holster as if to show someone something, she said.
Evelyn Eckels was outside when she looked toward a commotion and saw the front of Scott as he faced an officer.
"He looked very angry, and he was looking right at the police officer," she said. "In a matter of seconds, I saw a gun."
He pointed the gun toward the police officer, she said.
"I put my hands to my face and said, 'Oh my God, he's got a gun,' " Eckels said.
She opened her eyes after the gunfire and saw Scott lying on the ground.
She did not give police a statement at the scene but contacted them a few days after the incident. Eckels said she had seen media reports that Scott was unarmed and wanted to tell them that she saw a gun.
Shopper Karen Passarelli-Krause testified that as she left the store she walked right into the confrontation between Scott and an officer, who was close enough that she could touch him.
Passarelli-Krause said she froze as Scott pulled his gun.
"I saw Scott's shirt fly up and a gun come out," she testified. "After I heard the shot, I ran back inside and prayed I didn't get shot in the back."
Shopper Dolly Rand gave a similar account. The officer was yelling at Scott to get on the ground when Scott reached to his right side and pulled out a dark object, she said.
"It was going straight up toward the police officer," Rand said.
That's when she heard a gunshot and saw the object fall to the ground, she said.
Robert Connolly said the object he saw was clearly a gun: "He reached back, pulled a gun in the holster and tried to give it to the cop."
Steve Albright, who said he has a concealed weapons permit and has gone armed to Costco, was with his wife and two young children when he noticed Scott standing in front of an officer. Scott made an "intentional smooth move" toward his hip, which Albright recognized as someone drawing a gun.
"It was enough of a threat to leave," he said, explaining how he never saw Scott pull a weapon because he quickly spun around and headed back into the store with his family.
Albright said concealed weapons permit holders are trained to never draw a gun in front of police. They're supposed to tell the officer about the weapon and follow instructions, he said.
Several witnesses testified Saturday that they never saw a gun before Scott was shot.
Dr. Humberto Rodriguez Jr. said he had just left the store when he heard someone yelling.
"He kept insisting that someone put the gun down and get on their knees," Rodriguez said. He described Scott as "frozen in time. He wasn't moving. He looked like a deer in the headlights."
Then Scott's right arm moved toward his waist and the first two shots were fired, he said.
Scott turned around, gasping for breath. He collapsed to one knee when the other officers shot him from behind, Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez testified that Scott was not acting crazy and said police should have reacted differently.
He recounted an incident about a year ago where he called police because his mentally ill brother was violent and threatening relatives with a rake. He said officers in that incident used a Taser to stun his brother, who didn't have a weapon at that time.
"Maybe they could have saved Erik Scott by Tasing him and not shooting him," Rodriguez said.
His wife, Jo Ann Rodriguez, testified that she also saw Scott's right arm by his side but saw nothing in his hand.
She recalled Scott turning toward her and falling to his knees.
"I remember going, 'No. No. No. He's down.' He wasn't going to hurt anybody."
Dr. Edward Fishman, another shopper, recalled standing outside the store and watching the shooting unfold.
" 'Drop it. Drop it,' is what I heard," Fishman said. "There was nothing in Mr. Scott's hands to be dropped."
Both doctors said they were disturbed by the lack of medical treatment Scott received after he was shot, yet both said they were too shocked to volunteer to help.
John Cooper, a retired Army colonel, also was troubled by the delayed medical care for Scott, who was shot seven times.
"Why isn't somebody trying to help him?" Cooper said he wondered. "Somebody should have done something to help him."
After several minutes passed, he saw police officers run into the parking lot to flag down a medical unit stuck in the mass exodus of cars. The paramedics left the vehicle and ran to Scott's side.
Cooper testified that Scott made an "abnormal gesture" toward his right hip, but said he did not think it was threatening.
Scott family lawyer Ross Goodman has said he has a list of 20 to 25 witnesses who did not see a gun in Scott's hand, but he would not provide the list to prosecutors so they could be called to testify in the inquest.
"They're not going to testify in a kangaroo court," he said Friday.
Fishman and the Rodriguezes were likely on the list, however, as they testified they had talked to Goodman's private investigator.
Authorities have said they plan to call about 50 witnesses before the seven-member jury is asked to determine whether the shooting was justified, excusable or criminal. Testimony will continue at 10 a.m. Monday.
Contact reporter Brian Haynes at email@example.com or 383-0281.