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Man killed by police in Costco shooting remembered at memorial

Erik Scott ran with the bulls in Pamplona and jumped out of airplanes while training to be a paratrooper.

A West Point graduate who commanded battle tanks, every­thing he did in life he did with zeal.

“He reached for the stars and always wanted that new challenge,” said his mother, Linda Scott, one week to the day after he was shot and killed by Las Vegas police officers.

Now, she said, her eldest son is perfecting his soul in a different dimension.

Hundreds of Scott’s family and friends gathered Saturday at the Las Vegas Country Club to celebrate a life that was full of adventure and achievement. Some also expressed anger and frustration over how that life came to an end.

Kevin Scott called his brother’s death senseless and said it would be difficult to live his life without him.

“I feel extremely sad that my brother won’t get the chance to be a good uncle to my son,” he said. “He won’t get a chance to have a family of his own.”

Erik Scott, 38, was fatally shot by three officers outside the entrance of a busy Costco in Summerlin on July 10.

Police said they were originally called to the store because they received reports from store workers about an armed man acting erratically. Police said Scott, who had a concealed weapons permit, ignored commands to put up his hands and drop to the ground, and instead pointed a pistol at them.

Terrance Robinson, a friend of Scott’s for three years, who also has a concealed carry permit, said Scott knew better than to point a gun at police.

“It’s a complete bogus story they made up,” Robinson said.

Another friend, Dave Sundaram, said Scott wasn’t one to disobey authority.

“There’s no one who knew Eric that could ever conceive of him acting in a way that is defiant to a man in uniform,” Sundaram said. “He was a man who supported those guys.”

Police said they have spoken to 40 witnesses, and more than a dozen said they saw Scott pull out a handgun. The Review-Journal has interviewed seven witnesses. Three said Scott drew a gun, but none said they saw him point it at police officers.

Clark County Sheriff Doug Gillespie on Friday urged the public to remain patient while his department investigates the Costco incident and other recent police shootings.

“In policing, one thing I’ve learned over the years is don’t rush the processes,” he said. “Let the processes work because they are there for a reason.

Throughout Saturday’s service, Scott was regaled as a leader who influenced those he met.

Chuck Lang, a childhood friend, said Scott convinced him to join the Army. He also encouraged him to go into sales and to get a college degree when he didn’t know what he wanted in life.

Family friend Lee Ann Pusateri said Scott did well with the ladies.

“So Erik was smart and he was kind and he was muscular,” Pusateri said. “And he was courageous. And he was funny. And he was muscular. …”

Kirk Day, Scott’s team leader at West Point, described him as “like Elvis Presley with red hair.”

Day said Scott was selfless, and touched the lives of many people.

“As a son, brother, friend and soldier, Erik always left behind far, far more than he ever took.”

Scott, who was born at Mather Air Force Base in Sacramento, Calif., graduated in 1994 in the top 10 percent of his class from West Point and made the dean’s list while majoring in Spanish.

He became a tank commander, but he left the Army two years later as the military began its post-Cold War contraction. He later obtained a master’s degree in business administration from Duke University.

In Las Vegas, he sold medical devices and dabbled in real estate. Most recently, Scott worked as a sales representative for Boston Scientific, a medical devices manufacturer.

Pusateri read a letter from Scott’s girlfriend, Samantha, who was with him when he died. Though she attended the memorial, Samantha did not speak to the crowd, nor was her last name given. In her letter, she wrote that she and Scott were in love and planned to live long together.

“He always told me he finally under­stood how his father felt about his mother,” she wrote. “It breaks my heart that I’ll never be able to tell, what would have been our future children, the same story about us.”

Scott’s body will be cremated and his ashes will be scattered in the Pacific Ocean. Saturday’s memorial ended with the playing of ‘Taps” during an honor guard ceremony in which his mother was presented the American flag.

Contact reporter Antonio Planas at
aplanas@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-4638.

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