Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) – After six long days of testimony, a jury of seven unanimously rules that three Las Vegas Metro officers were justified in the use of deadly force against Erik Scott.
William Mosher, Thomas Mendiola and Joshua Stark have been cleared of any wrong-doing in unleashing a total of seven bullets.
A firestorm of questions and concerns have trailed the July 10th killing of Scott at the Summerlin Costco. His family has since launched an unprecedented campaign to uncover what they call the “truth”. Police claim that Scott pointed his gun at him and refused to cooperate, but his family members refuse to believe that.
For nearly a week, the Scott family says they’ve had to sit back silently and watch evidence filtered through the “lens of prosecutors”.
“They had a chance to present the truth. They also have a chance to present the facts at the coroner’s inquest hearing. As we see it, the system failed us,” said Bill Scott, whose son was killed by police.
Bill Scott says he didn’t learn anything new about Erik through the battlefield of witness testimony. Much of that testimony accused Erik of reaching for his holstered handgun and abusing prescription medications.
Several Costco employees had described Erik’s behavior as “erratic”. Computer experts had explained why surveillance video of the police shooting “doesn’t exist”. On day six of the inquest, Officer Thomas Mendiola, who fired four shots, even called Scott an “immediate and imminent” danger.
“Metro pulled the trigger, but Costco was the primary guilty party. Costco killed our son,” added a stern Bill Scott.
Attorney Ross Goodman disputes Metro’s claim that one of the two guns that Scott had on him wasn’t properly registered. During a news conference that followed the verdict, Goodman held a permit still spotted with Erik’s blood. He claims that the gun was registered about two weeks before the shooting.
Goodman called that one example of tainted testimony. He says there as plenty of witnesses who call tell that “other side” as a civil lawsuit moves forward.
“When real jury gets to hear both sides of the facts, I think you’re going to hear a much different verdict,” said attorney Ross Goodman. “The real truth is that Erik Scott was gunned down while walking in the parking lot. He was ambushed by these three officers who gave him about three seconds from the initial commands to respond”.
Goodman says a federal lawsuit could be filed in as soon as two weeks. It will be filed as a civil rights violation accusing the three officers of using excessive force. The lawsuit will name Las Vegas Metro Police, the Sheriff’s Office, Costco and Clark County.
Clark County Coroner Mike Murphy also answered several questions as he exited the courthouse after the verdict.
“I believe it’s not the responsibility of this office to have an opinion about the process. We are to conduct it as we are directed,” said Mike Murphy.
Sheriff Doug Gillespie will hold a press conference at 10 a.m. Wednesday morning to talk about what happened.