I got to watch some of the TV coverage of the Costco shooting of Eric Scott inquest and read some of the coverage. I think I can say that Metro screwed up. Maybe not criminally, but certainly they screwed up.
The police officer who fired the first shots said today that he was concerned that Scott was a Green Beret. So that put him on a heightened state of readiness. From the Las Vegas Sun: Mosher said the fact that Scott was a Green Beret concerned him as he was driving toward the store because he knew Scott would be trained to use small arms and tactics. He said he was also worried because it was a Saturday afternoon and 1,000 people could be at the store.
So, instead of seeing that Scott was an actual threat, the officer already perceived he was a threat. And while Costco may get 1000 customers during a Saturday, there was no way there would be 1000 customers at the store at the time of the shooting.
The store security guard is the one who called 911 and he stated that Scott was doing nothing illegal in the store.
From the Sun: "The 911 tape contained the voice of Shai Lierley, a Costco loss prevention supervisor, who was describing to the dispatcher what Scott was doing in the store.
Lierley had testified before the 911 tape was played about the incidents leading up to the shooting.
After Leirly and another manager saw the gun and told Scott he couldn't have a firearm in the store, Scott became agitated, Leirly testified.
"'I'm a Green Beret. You need to read the (expletive) Constitution,'" Lierley said Scott told them. "He was angry. He snapped up real quick."
Lierley, a floor walker whose job was to spot shoplifters, explained to the dispatcher that Scott had a firearm and refused to leave when asked. Lierley told the dispatcher that Scott had told him he had a right to carry it."
Ok, the guy refused to leave the store after being asked to remove his weapon. So you evacuate the whole damn store? Again, when I worked at Wal-Mart, we would have people in the store with a gun. In fact, a couple of times, Metro would come inside our store looking for a man a gun and the Metro officer would be carrying a rifle or shot gun inside our store. So, why was Costco evacuated and escalate the situation?
Also exposed was a lie by Metro. At first, it was said that an officer touched Scott but then Metro dropped that part of the story. But it turns out that Scott was touched and it caused a reaction, From the Sun: "The officer came up behind Scott and touched him on the elbow, Lierley said. That led Scott to pull away, turn and face the officer and lift up his left hand"
Also, Metro also escalated the situation by screaming at him instead of talking to Scott in a calm manner. From the Sun: Lierley said he distinctly remembered the officer continuing to yell, "Sir, drop the firearm." Jurors heard the following in the 911 call: "Put your hands where I can see them now. Drop it! Get on the ground! Get on the ground!"
It's quite possible if the cops came up to him and talked to him in a calm manner before he exposed the gun, the situation would not have escalated.
So, while Scott was not perfect, the cops were not either. They needlessly escalated the situation by touching and screaming at Scott rather than trying to talk to him. They also escalated the situation by having the store evacuated needlessly. Scott did not make any threats to Costco employees. He didn't do anything illegal and he didn't pull his gun on the Costco employees, who had more interaction with him than the cops.
So, while the actions by the cops may not be criminal, they were also far from perfect. While the actions of Scott were not perfect, it did not mean that he had to be killed by Metro.
Is it legal to...
17 minutes ago