First Day of Erik Scott Coroner's Inquest Finishes - 8 News NOW

First Day of Erik Scott Coroner's Inquest Finishes

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Erik Scott Erik Scott

LAS VEGAS -- The first day of the coroner's inquest into the death of Erik Scott outside a Summerlin Costco has finished. Seven jurors and four alternates are hearing the inquest.

The District Attorney has a list of 22 witnesses, but that could change. The Scott family attorney may ask to add a few as well.

"The jury's role is to determine whether the death was justifiable, excusable or criminal. Excusable death is accidental, justifiable is self-defense or defense of another against action that is apparent or dangerous. Anything outside those two is criminal," said prosecutor Chris Owens.

On July 10, Scott and his girlfriend were shopping at the Costco. Police reports said Scott started acting erratically and getting into arguments with store personnel about his concealed weapon.

A store manager called police and according to their reports, Scott would not cooperate with their commands and pointed his gun at them. That's when three officers shot him seven times, five times in the back. The medical examiner says it is possible Scott was lying on the ground when one round fired by police entered his buttocks.

Costco employee Colleen Kullberg took the stand late Wednesday and said she saw Scott as he was confronted by police outside the store. She says she saw Scott pull his gun from his waistband and aim it at officers before being shot.

Owens alluded to Scott's longtime battle with drugs and mental illness as the possible catalyst for the incident.

"Abuse of street drugs, bipolar disorder, chronic depression he was trying to treat with use of painkillers, suicidal ideations and one comment, 'It's literally a matter of time before my faking it at work is going to show,'" said Owens.

Owens said Scott suffered from arthritis, back, knee and elbow pain and depression. A medical examiner testified that Scott had several medications in his system at the time of his death, including morphine and xanex. Some of those medications were above lethal levels for average people.

Scott's former doctor also took the stand. Dr. Shari Klien went over confidential emails she exchanged with Scott about his health. At one point, Scott family attorney Ross Goodman objected to discussion of Scott's former use of anabolic steroids. He was admonished by the judge for speaking out of order.

The prosecutor also asked Dr. Klien about emails she and Scott exchanged about his health. "This is that same email where he talks about depression: 'I just cant feel like this anymore. I am sorry I am such a high maintenance patient, but I am really suffering I can usually handle a lot. I could bore you with stories about being a champion boxer at West Point during my glory years, but I will spare you. The point is I consider myself a fairly tough guy. I cannot handle this anymore -- not for one more day. Considered ending it permanently, but that is ridiculous and I promise I will not do it because it would hurt my family too much. But like we talked about, sometimes it feels like the only solution,'"

Another doctor, Daniel Kim, took the stand and testified he thought Scott was addicted to hydrocodone. Dr. Kim is a pain management expert.

A third doctor also took the stand. Dr. Joseph Gnoyski says he saw Scott in early 2010 in a pain management capacity. He says he doesn't believe Scott was a "drug seeker," but just someone who wanted to get well.

The piece of evidence that has most been in question is the surveillance video. Prosecutors said the hard drive from outside store camera didn't work and they sent it to be fixed. So that may be able to show what really happened between Scott and the officers.

The hearing is expected to go until at least Friday, with days set aside for next week as well.

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