Conflicting Accounts of Officer-Involved Shooting Emerge - 8 News NOW

Conflicting Accounts of Officer-Involved Shooting Emerge

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Erik Scott Erik Scott

LAS VEGAS - Chris Castillo describes his co-worker and good friend Erik Scott in glowing terms.

"(He) served his country, West Point grad, Duke master's degree, solid business guy," Castillo said. Castillo is shocked Scott was shot and killed by Metro Police Saturday afternoon. "It was very, very hard to believe. Everybody was in disbelief as to what the heck could have happened and why," Castillos said.

The 38-year-old medical salesman was shopping with his girlfriend at Costco when police say trouble began. "What he was doing was removing metal water bottles out of their packages or boxes," said Metro Police Captain Patrick Neville said. "He threw a few on the floor, and put other ones within his cart."

Police say customers complained about Scott's behavior. He allegedly argued with security and refused to obey officers when they arrived. "(He) goes into his waistband area, puts his hand on the weapon, is going for the weapon," Capt. Neville said. "The officer then begins to issue verbal commands for him to get on the ground, get on the ground, get on the ground."

Three officers then fired seven shots. "We have over a dozen witnesses that saw this individual pull a weapon from his waistband," Captain Neville said.

Attorney Ross Goodman represents Scott's family. He says Scott never pulled a gun and was not acting in a threatening way toward officers. He says other witnesses will back that up. Some comments on 8NewsNOW.com from people who claim to have witnessed the shooting agree with Goodman.

One person wrote, "I saw the whole thing go down from start to finish, and the cops were trigger happy. The guy never had a chance." "I was there, and I never saw this guy do anything with his gun," another person wrote. "The police started shooting immediately after ‘drop it' was yelled."

Metro officers say they haven't heard those eyewitness accounts yet and encourage anyone who saw anything to contact them.

"It sounds like he was trying to show the police his gun by lifting up his shirt," Castillo said. "These guys, they fired prematurely."

Captain Neville says 911 calls will prove otherwise. "I could clearly hear the officers giving commands to the individual to get him on the ground," he said. "You could hear people yelling and screaming in the background. You could hear the shots being fired." "When you listen to that, it definitely sends a chill down your spine," Capt. Neville said.

Goodman says he hopes surveillance video, along with the witnesses he's hearing from, will show Scott did nothing wrong.

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