Published Thursday, Sept. 23, 2010 | 9:43 a.m.
Updated Thursday, Sept. 23, 2010 | 5:29 p.m.
- Shai Lierley on the phone with dispatchers
- Unidentified caller from within Costco talking to dispatchers
- Metro Police radio traffic during the July 10 officer-involved shooting that left Erik Scott dead
Justice of the Peace Tony Abbatangelo has recessed the coroner's inquest for the day. The inquest will resume at 8 a.m. Friday.
Metro Officer William Mosher, one of the officers involved in the shooting of Erik Scott, testified this afternoon at the coroner's inquest.
Prior to the shooting, Mosher said he had been told over the police radio that Scott was a Green Beret, had been acting erratically, was throwing merchandise around, appeared to be high on narcotics, had a gun and would not leave the store.
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.
Mosher said he came to the door of Costco with his gun drawn because of what he had been told about Scott.
Mosher said Scott was pointed out to him by a Costco employee. He said Scott's only words to him were that he had a gun.
Mosher said he saw Scott had bloodshot eyes. He told Scott to show his hands and to put his weapon down twice, but Scott wouldn't comply, he said.
Scott responded by pulling out his gun, Mosher said. Mosher saw the gun being raised in his direction.
"He was a deadly threat with that weapon in his hand," Mosher said.
Mosher said at that point, fearing for his own safety, fearing for the safety of the other officers and fearing for the safety of the crowd, "I fired my weapon at center body mass."
He said he shot twice, then stopped. He said Scott didn't fall immediately. Then he heard the other two officers also shoot.
Mosher, 38, has been with the department since June 2005. Other officers involved in the shooting are Joshua Stark, 28, with the department since September 2008, and Thomas Mendiola, 23, with the department since March 2009.
Peter Calos, a Metro homicide detective who was conducting the investigation into the police shooting of Erik Scott, was continuing to show video at the Summerlin Costco this afternoon.
Calos demonstrated that a camera that shows the front doors of Costco, where the fatal shooting occurred, was active until it crashed about 2:14 p.m. on July 8, two days before the shooting.
"This is when the internal drive system fails," Calos said.
The camera didn't record any events from that time until the system was rebooted about 5:30 p.m. on July 10, after the shooting took place, he said.
Video was being shown this afternoon from Summerlin Costco surveillance video cameras recorded the afternoon of July 10, the date Erik Scott was shot by Metro Police.
Peter Calos, a Metro homicide detective who was conducting the investigation into the shooting, was explaining the video, which showed the parking lot around the time of the shooting.
He said the video showed the first patrol car pull into Costco. But he said the angle of the camera doesn't show the doors of the building, which is where the fatal shooting took place.
Brian Wyche, a forensic multimedia analyst for Metro Police, is testifying about efforts to recover the video from the hard drive at Costco.
Wyche said he was called at 5:17 p.m. July 10, the day of the fatal shooting. A Costco employee took him to the video surveillance room, where he looked at the recording system.
He said he met with Shai Lierley, a Costco loss prevention supervisor who testified earlier today, who told him the system appeared to have an error. He couldn't find video files recorded for that day.
Wyche said he tried to go into the hard drive the "back way" to see if he could find the files in a folder.
"I couldn't see any of those files because I couldn't get into that folder. It said 'unknown error,'" Wyche said.
He tried to reboot the system. From about 2:15 p.m. July 8 to roughly 5:15 p.m. July 10, there were no files recorded. Police were called to Costco at 12:47 p.m. July 10.
Wyche said if he would have found the files, he would have downloaded them to a portable flash drive for detectives.
He explained the steps he had gone through with another detective.
"At that point I was done," Wyche said.
Metro Police forensic multimedia analyst Brian Wyche has taken the stand.
Wyche follows a five-minute recess called by Justice of the Peace Tony Abbatangelo.
The break followed testimony from three witnesses this afternoon about the corrupt hard drive at the Summerlin Costco that was thought to have contained a video recording showing three Metro Police officers shooting and killing Erik Scott.
According to the testimony, some files from July 10 have been recovered. The digital files recorder had been reported to be faulty a few days earlier.
It wasn't clear this afternoon what files were recovered.
Afternoon testimony has centered on the corrupt hard drive at Costco that is thought to contain the digital video recording that might show Metro officers shooting Erik Scott.
Jody Okawaki, a special agent with the U.S. Secret Service who is a computer forensic examiner, was the next witness at the coroner's inquest into the July 10 shooting death.
Okawki said she found some files from July 10, but the hard drive didn't contain files on July 9.
She said they took the hard drive Seagate Recovery Service to help recover the data.
David Teigen, of Seagate, said in earlier testimony they were able to get about 600 gigabytes of data from the hard drive.
Jason Swords, of Vegas Valley Locking Systems, said his company received a call from Shai Lierley, a Costco employee, on July 8 that the digital video recorder Vegas Valley had installed at Costco was locking up.
Swords said the drive was brought to him July 12 so he could try to recover the data, but he was unsuccessful at recovering any data.
"There was a physical problem with the hard drive. I could hear it clicking," he said.
Swords said after he couldn't recover the data, he returned the DVR over to Lierley.
Audio problems were plaguing the overflow courtroom for a second time today.
Voices from another courtroom were overriding the audio from the courtroom where the coroner's inquest proceedings were taking place.
The public and some members of the media are in the overflow courtroom. There are only 40 seats in the inquest room and those are mostly being reserved for interested parties, such as Scott's immediate family members, although several members of the media also are in the courtroom.
"This is supposed to be a public hearing. We deserve better," a member of the public watching the proceedings told a court service technician.
The technician said someone had taken a wireless microphone from the courtroom and was using it in an adjoining courtroom. The problem was resolved within a few minutes.
Justice of the Peace Tony Abbatangelo has reconvened this afternoon's session of the coroner's inquest into the Metro Police shooting of Erik Scott July 10 at the Summerlin Costco.
Abbatangelo was reading questions into the record that he had discarded that were submitted to witnesses by interested parties in the case, which includes Scott's family and their attorney, Ross Goodman.
The judge was also explaining why he didn't allow each question. Most of his reasons are that they were irrelevant or they had been asked and answered in an earlier question.
Abbatangelo said Friday's session will begin at 8 a.m. and last all day (Wednesday began at 10 a.m., today began at 9 a.m.). He said that based on the pace of the proceedings the inquest will also continue on Saturday, but that it will not meet on Sunday or Monday.
The first witness for the afternoon session is David Teigen, who is employed by Seagate Recovery Service in Santa Clara, Calif., which does recovery work on hard drives.
Teigen was explaining the data he was asked to recover from the Summerlin Costco. The hard drive contains surveillance video that might show the events leading up to Scott being shot by three Metro Police officers.
Officials have said the video was corrupted.
The coroner's inquest in the shooting death of Erik Scott by Metro Police broke for lunch at about 12:30 p.m.
Jurors were told to return in one hour to resume proceedings. The judge and attorneys will reconvene 10 minutes early so the judge can read questions into the official record from interested parties that weren't asked during the proceedings.
More than 300 questions have been submitted by interested parties, which includes the Scott family and their lawyer, Ross Goodman.
Questioning of Shai Lierley, a Summerlin Costco employee who called a 911 dispatcher about Erik Scott, was continuing into the noon hour.
Lierley was being asked more details about his account of the events that led to the police confrontation with Scott, and Scott being shot twice in the front and five times in the back and buttocks.
Lierley, whose job is to spot shoplifters, said he thought Scott was trying to stuff items into a neoprene lunch bag to conceal them so he wouldn't have to pay for them.
Scott said another employee, Vince Lopez, approached Scott and asked him if he needed help, but Scott told him he was trying to get items, such as a steel bottle and a cold pack, to fit into the bag.
Scott was drawing attention to himself by pacing back and forth, tearing packaging off the bottles and tossing the bags around, Lierley said. However, Scott did nothing illegal, he said.
Lierley said Scott was approached by employees again when he noticed that Scott had a firearm in his waistband.
Scott's reaction to being told about a no-firearms policy at Costco -- jumping up, saying he was a Green Beret and cursing -- led employees to walk away and make a 911 call, Lierley said.
The 911 dispatch tape of the July 10 shooting death of Erik Scott at the Summerlin Costco was played to jurors today during the coroner's inquest into whether officers where justified in shooting him.
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 Lierley and another manager saw the gun and told Scott he couldn't have a firearm in the store, Scott became agitated, Lierley 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.
Scott told his girlfriend they were trying to take his firearm from him. His girlfriend then told him the store was being evacuated, so the two of them started to leave together, Lierley said.
Eventually, Scott began walking separately from his girlfriend and from time to time touched his firearm, Lierley said. Lierley said before police arrived he also noticed that Scott stumbled once as he walked.
Lierley said he followed Scott outside the door and pointed him out to an officer standing at the exit. There also were two other officers outside.
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.
Scott's right hand went back to his waistband and he began tugging at his gun, Lierley said.
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!"
Scott eventually pulled the gun out and when he lifted the barrel and began to point it at the officer, the officer shot him, Lierley said.
Scott was hit in the chest and immediately dropped his firearm, Lierley said. Scott then fell to the ground, Lierley said.
"Then I just heard a couple of more shots," Lierley said. He said he saw Scott move on the ground and heard more shots. "It was one after another. ... It was real quick, less than a second."
The officer then handcuffed Scott, Lierley said.
Chief Deputy District Attorney Christopher Laurent asked Lierley if Scott was pulling the gun out to hand it to the officer, but Lierley said he wasn't.
During the incident, Scott didn't say anything to the police officer, Lierley said.
As the audio recording of the dispatch call was made, shots can be heard, but it was difficult to distinguish how many shots were fired.
The medical examiner who did the autopsy on Scott said there were two shots that hit Scott from the front and five that hit him on his back and buttocks from the rear.
Shai Lierley, a Costco loss prevention supervisor, said Scott was acting "erratically" in an aisle, pacing back and forth, mumbling to himself.
Lierley said he began watching Scott for a few minutes as he was putting steel bottles into a neoprene bag, tearing them from their cardboard containers.
He said he eventually noticed Scott had a firearm in his waistband, so he and another employee approached Scott and told him Costco had a policy against firearms in the store and he would have to leave.
Lierley said Scott jumped up and told him he was a Green Beret and had the constitutional right to carry it.
Lierley then called a 911 dispatcher. The 911 audio recording, with a transcript, was being played to jurors.
The next witness in the coroner's inquest into the death of Erik Scott is Shai Lierley, a loss prevention supervisor at Costco.
Lierley testified that he spotted Scott in an aisle in Costco and he was acting strangely, leading him to keep watch on him.
He explained the events that led him to call police about Scott. Lierley was working in plain-clothes at Costco to prevent thefts.
Steven Novotny said his dog, a 70- to 75-pound chow-pitbull-lab-rottweiler mix, bit Scott March 9, 2010. Scott then pulled a gun on his dog, then later pointed a gun at him, said.
Novotny said after the dog had bitten Scott, he went to confront Scott, and Scott threatened him with a gun.
"I thought I was going to get shot because of a dog bite," Novotny testified.
Novotny said that made him angry.
"When he pointed the gun at me, yes I did (get angry). But afterwards, I cooled off," Novotny said. "I was mad because he pointed a gun at me and he threatened to shoot me."
Scott apologized and said he was sorry for the incident. Novotny said he offered to pay for Scott's hospital bill from the dog bite, but Scott left.
Novotny said he wasn't fearful of confronting Scott, "because I was also carrying."
Novotny said he didn't call police about the incident because he didn't have a good description of Scott at the time.
Animal control eventually came to pick up Novotny's dog.
The second day of testimony has begun in the coroner's inquest into the Metro Police shooting death of Erik Scott on July 10 at the Summerlin Costco.
The first person to testify is Steven Novotny, who alleges Scott pulled a gun on his dog on March 9 this year. Novotny said the dog had bitten Scott.
"Mr. Scott said 'you're lucky I didn't shoot you and your (expletive) dog,'" Novotny testified.
Novotny said Scott was pointing his gun at Novotny when the incident occurred.
Court officials, who have restricted access to the 40-seat courtroom for interested parties and limited media, were having technical problems to start the day.
Although there was a TV feed coming into the overflow courtroom set up for media and the public, something was wrong with the audio feed.
Reporters in the overflow room covering the inquest and members of the public hoping to hear it couldn't do so for the first portion of testimony from today's first witness.
The audio was restored about 9:35 p.m., about 15 minutes into the testimony from Novotny.
The inquest is expected to last through at least the end of the day Friday and may continue onto another day.
- Family critical of process as inquest into police shooting set to start (9-16-2010)
- Attorney for family in police shooting calls inquest process ‘a farce’ (9-16-2010)
- Attorney in Erik Scott case sends letter to judge over evidence (9-16-2010)
- Erik Scott’s family asks to view evidence before inquest (9-9-2010)
- Inquest into police shooting to be broadcast on cable TV (9-7-2010)
- Inquest set for Sept. 22 in police Costco shooting (8-12-2010)
- Metro mails Costco customers to find witnesses in police shooting (8-18-2010)
- Candlelight vigil held in memory of man killed by Metro Police (8-11-2010)
- Planning for a situation like recent Costco shooting not easy for police (7-19-2010)
- Man killed by police in Costco shooting honored at memorial (7-17-2010)
- Metro IDs officers in fatal shooting at Summerlin Costco (7-12-2010)
- Officers fatally shoot armed man at Summerlin Costco (7-10-10)