A jury will convene Sept. 3 for the coroner's inquest into the fatal shooting of 38-year-old Erik Scott, who was killed by three Las Vegas police officers this month outside a busy Summerlin Costco.
Police said three officers responding to a call about a man with a gun who was acting erratically shot Scott in the afternoon of July 10 because Scott did not comply with orders to lie on the ground and put his hands up. Instead, police said, Scott pulled a pistol from his waistband and pointed it at an officer.
Police said that they have spoken to 40 witnesses and that more than a dozen said they saw Scott pull a gun. The Review-Journal has interviewed seven witnesses. Three said Scott drew a gun, but none of them said they saw him point it at police officers.
Scott, a West Point and Duke graduate who sold pacemakers for a living, had a permit to carry concealed weapons.
Police, citing an ongoing investigation, have not released the recording of the 911 call from a Costco employee. In an attempt to retrieve video of the shooting, police sent the hard drive from the store's surveillance system to a police agency in Southern California for forensic review.
Three officers have been placed on routine paid administrative leave pending the outcomes of the investigation and inquest. They are William Mosher, 38, a five-year veteran of the department; Joshua Stark, 28, a two-year veteran; and Thomas Mendiola, 23, also a two-year veteran.
The shooting was not the first for Mosher, who in April 2006 was one of two officers who shot and killed a suspect in a car.
Bill Scott, Erik Scott's father and a former Air Force colonel, told the Review-Journal that multiple officers might have been shouting different orders at his son, confusing him before the shooting.
Ross Goodman, an attorney representing the Scott family, said he is frustrated with many aspects of how Las Vegas police are handling their investigation of the shooting. He said he wants police to release the 911 recording, with any Costco security camera recordings of the shooting.
"Metro keeps on talking about conflicting witness accounts, but they haven't released the tapes," Goodman said. "Let the truth be told."
Goodman called the upcoming inquest a one-sided process because lawyers for victims' families aren't allowed to call or cross-examine witnesses. He also criticized the inquest as being filtered through the lens of the state.
The inquest process has been heavily criticized, including by the local ACLU, because only once in recent history has an inquest jury not found an officer's actions justified or excusable.
Contact reporter Antonio Planas at aplanas@ reviewjournal.com or 702-383-4638.