Family Gets Chilling Account of Costco Shooting - 8 News NOW

Family Gets Chilling Account of Costco Shooting

Posted: Updated:
Erik Scott Erik Scott

LAS VEGAS -- A chilling account of what happened Saturday afternoon at a Summerlin Costco has surfaced, blasting Las Vegas police for what witnesses call excessive force.

Erik Scott was shot and killed by police. Metro says he was armed and posed a threat, but witnesses are coming forward saying they don't believe that's true.

At least one of these accounts was from a couple who says they were just feet away from where Scott was shot. They says he didn't draw his gun or point it at police, but officers shot anyway.

Scott's cousin and family friends say witnesses are reaching out to them.

"The event immediately spiraled out of control, but not from the perspective of Erik who, from what his girlfriend said, was like absolutely stunned -- shocked that police were there. 'Why are police here? What's going on in the store?' Suddenly the police are firing," said family friend William Birnes.

The 38-year-old medical salesman had been inside Costco shopping with his girlfriend, when Metro says it received numerous 911 calls for his erratic behavior and reporting he was carrying a gun. This prompted the store to evacuate employees and customers.

According to his cousin, an eyewitness who was right next to Scott claims he didn't have a gun in his hand or appear to be hostile in any way. But Metro says that wasn't the case. They say they saw a weapon and that Scott was a threat.

"If I give you a command to drop the weapon or get on the ground, or whatever I happen to do, and you don't comply with that and you have a weapon in your hand, you continue moving forward and pointing at me, I'm going to definitely think that my life is in danger. I would definitely think, in my mind, that you're going to shoot me," said Metro Capt. Patrick Neville.

Three officers shot Scott seven times. The witness says he remembers his girlfriend screaming, "Why did you kill him? He is a military man with a license to carry a concealed weapon. You didn't need to kill him. You didn't need to kill him."

The officers are on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.

The witness says once Scott was down and clearly not a threat, the manner in which authorities handled his lifeless body was "like a sack of potatoes." It is unknown if the witnesses have yet given their statement to police.

What will set the record straight is surveillance video and the 911 calls placed during the incident. But Metro will not release them until the coroner's inquest sometime in September.

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