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Metro officer tied to Costco shooting faces felony weapons charge


Steve Marcus

Metro Police Officer Thomas Mendiola testifies during a coroner’s inquest for Erik Scott at the Regional Justice Center on Sept. 28, 2010. Scott was shot and killed by Metro officers at the Summerlin Costco store July 10.

Updated Monday, Jan. 31, 2011 | 5:15 p.m.

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One of three officers who shot and killed Erik Scott outside the Summerlin Costco last summer has been relieved of duty without pay pending the outcome of a criminal complaint charging him with one felony count of furnishing a firearm to a prohibited person, police said.

After the criminal charges, Metro Police Officer Thomas Mendiola, 23, will face an internal police investigation.

Mendiola, William Mosher and Joshua Stark shot and killed Scott on July 10 outside Costco after authorities say Scott pointed a gun at an officer. A Clark County coroner’s inquest jury ruled in September after six days of testimony the three officers were justified in the shooting.

According to a criminal complaint released Monday, Mendiola gave a .22-caliber Sturm Ruger to Robert Justice, 45, as a gift for working on his car in August 2010. Justice has convictions for two felony offenses and is prohibited from possessing firearms, authorities said.

Mendiola had met Justice in July when Justice first worked on Mendiola’s car, the report said. Justice told police Mendiola gave him the gun, an extra magazine and a box of ammunition as a gift for working on the vehicle.

Justice later sold the gun and a .357-caliber handgun to an undercover detective, the complaint said.

When questioned, Mendiola admitted to giving Justice the gun and knowing he had been in prison. He told police the gun “wasn’t even working, it was just beat up,” the complaint said.

According to the complaint, in September 2010, Mendiola told police that Justice showed him a .357-caliber handgun and he allegedly told Justice, “Dude, you’re not supposed to have that, but you already know that.” Justice replied, “Yeah, no one will know.”

When asked if he knew what Justice was going to do with the guns, the report indicates Mendiola told police, “I don’t know. He said he was collecting ‘em. The Ruger wasn’t for (expletive), I mean, it was rusted, had no sights, it didn’t fire, course I never tried it.”

Mendiola has been with Metro since March 2009. He is assigned to Metro's Patrol Division, Convention Center Area Command.

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  1. We need an outside agency to investigate Metro, Justice Department, FBI, U.N., etc. The only people that support them are a couple of corrupted local radio talk show ranters.

  2. Waiting for more detail on this story.

    What did he do? What did he give, to whom and why?

  3. And we, the people, re-elected Sheriff Doug thinking he will continue to improve Metro.

  4. He's just 23?

    That explains no common sense, in this case.

    Back to Burger King, dude.

  5. The officer knew that the guy couldn't possess a gun? That's all kinds of stupid.

    I could understand a private sale, where you don't know -- and really don't have the means of finding out, short of processing the sale through a FFL holder.

    But a cop -- who knew?! *sigh*

  6. But I thought all illegal gun sales and transfers were by mean spirited right wing radicals trying to arm Mexican drug gangs?

  7. We all knew those cops were dirty, trigger happy, rogue and corrupt. They thought they were above the law...not anymore!

  8. This is like putting the icing on the cake. Thi$ i$ going to co$t.

  9. rogue cops shot at the Costco. now some substance comes out about these trigger happy folks who love their guns - even bad guns.

  10. Another street punk made officer who thought he was above the law! So now, he's helping felons and he's a bad liar too! Don't these cops know that criminals can't wait to 'rat' them out for anything? I hope this young punk cop has learned something now that he's blown the best job he'll EVER have! Guess he'll be working for his buddy, Justice, changing oil on cars!

  11. So a known felon and jail house snitch is the reason you think a cop's career should be over? Do you really think such testimony is reliable? And what does this have to do with the tragedy at Costco?

  12. He's just 23?

    That explains no common sense, in this case.

    Back to Burger King, dude.

    Thought the same - "He is way too young to be a cop". He should still be riding with a senior officer. At that age, he is no better than the street thugs who commit crimes and is made worse by the fact he can "legally' carry a gun.

    Wonder if he is a product of the Clark County School System??

  13. Regardless of the felon's testimony, the officer admitted to giving a known felon a firearm. You can't spin your way out of that one.

  14. Fine Jerry, he admitted to giving the gun, let the system work. Now how is this in any way related to the Costco tragedy?

  15. Looks like the anti-gun nuts need to add another source where felons get their hands on a gun. One down, two to go.

  16. I think LVMPD needs to monitored more closely by the Feds because there's never one cockroach.

  17. mschaffer - if you can't answer your own question, I don't know what to tell you.

  18. The answer is that is has exactly zero to do with the prior tragedy.

    If you believe that guns make a society better then why do all the legitimate studies of societies around the world contradict that belief?

  19. Thats easy, they don't!

  20. No, the answer is one of the cops that was involved in the shooting at Costco was busted for giving a gun to a felon who then tried to sell it to an undercover. In turn, that raises questions about said cops judgement. The dots are very easy to connect.

  21. Jerry,
    It doesn't affect the material facts of what occurred at Costco because there was corroborating evidence. This again shows zero as the intersection between this incident and Costco tragedy.

    It is easy when you haven't looked at any of the research. But just keep believing your John Wayne fantasies.