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73 Responses to “Man Shot, Killed by Police at a Las Vegas Costco”
This is terrible jounalism.
The story mentions the shooting, says that someone was going bezerk in the store, and then says that the man was shot exiting the store. The implication is that the victim was the man going bezerk in the store. HOWEVER, if you read it closely, there is no evidence that the man who was shot was the same man who was going bezerk earlier.
I also gave up trying to piece together the events from the story. Most warehouse clubs I’ve seen have so many cameras covering every square inch that they could probably render the altercation footage in 3D, with bullet time. It’ll be interesting to see if that video ever makes it out, or if solar radiation reflecting off a weather balloon causes a massive camera malfunction – if the shoot wasn’t a good one, both the cops *and* Costco have a lot of incentive to keep the tapes buried.
No, that’s excellent journalism. It makes clear that Scott was the guy, but there’s little more that anybody’s saying. What makes it really great journalism, though, is that they interviewed witnesses and pointed out that the witnesses all had the same general story – and it oddly contradicts the official police account.
Contrary to SJE, I assume that the ambiguity in the story was deliberate (but poorly done). The reporter probably was unable to confirm that the victim was also the suspect. The police responded to a call of a disturbance. While at Costco investigating that complaint, the police (for unknown reasons) shot and killed the victim. I agree, however, that the reporter should have noted the lack of information tying the victim to the suspect — which would have made a poorly crafted story into something comprehensible.
As Roho stated, I expect there is a good chance that this was captured on video. The likelihood is decreased because it happend outside the store where there will be fewer cameras (less merchandise to steal outside). Are there any Agitator readers in Las Vegas who would be willing to snap a few pictures of the entrance to the Costco to show if there are any cameras covering the exit/entrance?
What will REALLY be ironic is if the bezerk spaz wasn’t him, but rather someone else confronting him over his concealed weapon. Thus the disturbance, (who knows about the destroyed merchandise), and then some trigger happy cops shoot first.
Who knows. Any which way it could have and should have been handled and ended differently. But as long as people are willing to defer to cops it’ll only get worse.
My wife and I were 7 or 8 feet away from the shooting as were the police. We were to the suspects immediate right. We heard and saw the 3 police officers shouting to the man in question to ‘get on your knees’ several times. At that point the man appeared somewhat stunned by the commotion and shouting of the police.
His Right arm went up in a defenseless position and it appeared his left arm appeared to be going up but there was NO gun in his hand. He was taserd and shot at the same time. At no time did the man in question ever raise his voice, shout an obscenity or become confrontational with the police. We saw the disabled man stooping to his right facing us with what appeared to be a bullet wound in his upper chest with blood coming from the wound and immediately his eyes became glossy as he began to convulse. At this point he was no threat to anyone, both hands were in full view of us and there was no gun. As he was down, the police continued to shout ‘put the gun down’ several times…but there was no gun in his hand as we had full vantage point view. The injured man was having agonal respirations, he was down when the second volly of bullets rang out. There was no doubt in question that following the second barrage of bullets the man was dead. His girlfriend was to the back side of us and began to scream…..why did you kill him, he is a military man with a license to carry a concealed weapon. You didn’t need to kill him….you didn’t need to kill him.
An officer then came up to the injured man who in my opinion was a ‘dead’ man’, was cuffed with his hands behind his back and no attempt by the officer to determine if the man was alive or dead. No apparent life saving aid was given to the ‘downed’ man. The man was totally lifeless when the Paramedics arrived on scene. I was absolutely surprised to see that no attempt at aggressive ACLS was engaged. They simply just picked up the body like a ‘sack of potatoes’ and hurled him onto the gurney and into the ambulance This was a crime scene…. the crime scene was violated. One of the paramedics who attended to an injured elderly lady said the man was dead. There was a dead man in front of Costco. What nobody is talking about is that there were many many spectators, many like ourselves within just a few feet of the victim when the shots rang out. It seems to me that the greater danger was posed not by the victim but by the police who fired many shots in the vicinity of the innocent public. I agree with you, I hope the media and your friends family can get their hands of Costco’s Camera’s which will indeed tell the rest of the story. Also it must be confirmed whether the second gun supposedly found by the victims side was indeed also registered to him as a licensed conceal and carry.
#10, you pose a good possibility. Another one is that if Scott was carrying concealed, and somehow his pistol became visible, and that spooked someone so that person calls police with a make believe story. This happens a lot, as I have friends that can attest to such situations and I have worried about this happening to me, concealed or open carry. most John Public and Jane Doe think that only police should carry pistols, and anyone else carrying a pistol must be a criminal.
It is quite sad to continuously find that people abdicate their security to others, and don’t realize the main reason for firearms is to fight back against a tyrannical government.
the witness obviously has some medical background- to note ‘agonal respirations’ ‘glassy eyes’ and that ‘acls’ was administered shows quite an attention to detail. this story will be watched closely. horrible.
Gods, the idea that someone inside the store might have seen his gun and freaked on him or about him is completely plausible to me.
The story isn’t bad journalism, it reads like it does because the writer doesn’t know what happened. It’s a story without a plot, just bits of details. All the jurno has is the bits and pieces they managed to scrounge up. That’s basic journalism. We really can’t expect outrage at the shooting untill the facts are in.
What makes it poor journalism to me is the added “lifestyle” bits like about his grandfather and such stressing that he was a “good” person. This stuff doesn’t matter and doesn’t make anyone a good or bad person. This mans grandfather could have been Hitler, if Scott was killed because someone freaked out over his legally carried gun, it’s a tragedy no matter any of his personal details. But until we know what happened … it’s a messed up situation that probably, from the sound of it, could have been handled better.
I just found on that this WAS my cousin who was shot! He was a West Point Graduate, never been in trouble, was an officer in the Army, and had a concealed weapons permit in Nevada. The story I’ve heard from friends of his girlfriend have told us that a store clerk saw that he had a concealed gun, told him he couldn’t have it in the store. He replied, “sure I can I have a concealed weapons permit”. The clerk apparently overreacted and called the police that he was some kind of crazy person which ended up in over hyped police that shot him while he was trying to comply by taking his gun out of his shirt to place on the ground as they asked as he was leaving the store. Please anyone who was at the scene and witnessed any of this tragedy please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org we may need your help.
#23 sounds like the most likely scenario as I predicted in #13. I say most likely because most people aren’t ready to snap and die. The facts, as determined by witnesses (not police narrative) will tell the tale.
Some Costco stores have signs at their entrances stating no firearms, some do not. I can attest to this as I have lived in states where I’ve seen the sign and not seen it. In the state where I have seen the sign, it wasn’t this way at all Costcos in the state, thus there is not a blanket corporate policy, otherwise all stores would have a sign at the entrance.
If you carry concealed, and an employee sees your pistol and asks you to leave, you should politely leave but ask to speak to a manager outside the store. Employee X doesn’t have the authority, but Manager Y does.
It always bothers me how every time one of these stories hits, it always opens with “so and so was such of saint, saving babies and walking old ladies across the street and teaching disabled kids and whatnot.
I suppose that’s supposed to work up my sympathy, but all it ends up doing is reminding me of the other 100 people it’s probably happened to that weren’t saints and therefore didn’t make for a juicier story than celebrity X breaking up with celebrity Y, which in turn makes me wonder if humanity can ever possibly climb out of this hole when, as a society, we just don’t care about this type of stuff unless the victim can be painted as a saint… And even then, we (society) doesn’t care. Not really.
The greatest achievement I hope to see in my generation isn’t winning some war or going to Mars, or discovering fusion or some other practically infinite, clean energy. No, what I hope to see is a simple reordering of priorities. And I fear it’s far, far out of our reach.
The saint or sinner angle seems to be given far too much weight in these stories, especially when the police have no idea about a person before they gun him down (sorry “acted according to procedures”). Even scumbags have rights. The only time such information is relevant should be in asking whether cops were right in getting a warrant.
I would hate to see any of the blame for this shift to Costco. Some clerk’s reaction, whether it was panicky or the guy did start showing his ass, should not be the issue. We can’t start mandating how people react to seeing a deadly weapon, anymore than we can mandate how people react when they see a spider. Regardless of how the police get involved, they are supposed to be the trained experts, able to figure out what is going on and only shoot as a last resort. But they all think they are fucking Dirty Harry.
On another note, since it has already come up, suppose the store does have a “No Firearms” sign or policy. Does this trump a permit? Should it? I would think that any private property owner can decide not to allow guns, regardless of the permit given by the government.
The saint or sinner angle seems to be given far too much weight in these stories, especially when the police have no idea about a person before they gun him down (sorry “acted according to procedures”). Even scumbags have rights.
I wandered into the PJTV discussion on Johannes Mehserle’s verdict, and a number of people were arguing that Grant brought death upon himself by fighting on a train, and we should withhold judgement of Mehserle because we weren’t there. When I pointed out that we don’t know if Grant was fighting or not (should withhold judgement and all), we ended up with a short circuit or two.
#28, On another note, since it has already come up, suppose the store does have a “No Firearms” sign or policy. Does this trump a permit? Should it? I would think that any private property owner can decide not to allow guns, regardless of the permit given by the government.
A store is [supposed] private property, thus they can legally deny entrance to those carrying firearms. It is socially acceptable to do so. However, suppose a company posts a sign that says “No Purple Hats” or “You Must Be 6 Feet Tall to Enter”. That is not socially acceptable, and we’d quickly see someone screeching “there oughtta be a law!”. It’s all screwed up. At one point it was socially acceptable to have signs that said “No Blacks Allowed”, and was even codified in law, with cops enforcing the law and stating “don’t blame me, go fix it in the legislature, I am not responsible for the morality of my actions, I just enforce the law”.
I was reading through some articles on the shooting and this portion of one of them jumped out at me
Attorney Ross Goodman, a criminal defense lawyer and son of Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman, said Scott had a concealed weapon permit.
“He did not pull a handgun,” Goodman said. “All the witnesses we’ve heard from have said he did not make any threatening gestures, and didn’t do anything that could be construed as acting in a threatening manner.”
Goodman said he expects that surveillance videos and a coroner’s inquest will show that the shooting near the entrance of Costco was neither justifiable nor excusable. Only one officer has been found to have acted improperly since 1976.
In 34 years only one officer has been found to have acted improperly.
As Radley has already said, it is early. But early or late this one is going to turn out like 99.99999% of all other shootings like this. A couple of weeks vacation for a few officers and a lot of blah, blah, blah followed by nothing.
@ #1: I actually think this was excellent journalism, compared to the TV stations and what most typical newspapers would have published.
The TV stations both led with the police statements that he was “going beserk inside the store” and “reached for his weapon” when police ordered him to the ground.
Since then, Channel 8 has modified everything to “police claim that…”, while Channel 3 is still parroting the official line: not a single “alleged” to be found, just the outright statement that he was destroying store property and was shot after he pulled a gun on police.
After LVMPD writes a huge wrongful-death check, and Costco writes a huge “oops, our employee contributed directly to this wrongful death” check, I hope KSNV writes a huge libel check.
It’s been almost 30 years since I took Journalism Law as a freshman, but I remember clearly the legal different between attributed statements and claims within the copy. The KSNV reporters/editors clearly never learned that lesson.
“We can’t start mandating how people react to seeing a deadly weapon, anymore than we can mandate how people react when they see a spider.”
Nonsense. Being a fool may absolve someone from criminal prosecutions requiring intent, but it does not absolve them for offenses that are pretty much defined as “doing something incredibly stupid with ill result”.
If someone freaks out over a spider and, as a result, someone dies, you’re damned right I’m going to hold them accountable for it. I expect adults to behave like adults, not like children or idiots. If they can’t manage that, then they honestly have no business being out in public.
The CCW issue is a little muddier because while you can’t possibly claim the same sort of primal aversion to weapons that you can with spiders, snakes, etc., there is also a duty/legal requirement to keep the weapon concealed in some states.
I’ve spent months, cumulative, carrying weapons in public in the U.S. Long arms, pistols, open, concealed, for work, while on my own business, anywhere from the middle of nowhere to cities with millions of people. I am not, nor have I ever been, domestic law enforcement.
Tens of thousands of people have seen me do it, and NOT ONE law abiding citizen or LEO has freaked out or been surprised enough to cause any sort of problem.
Outside of some explicitly secure environment like a courthouse, school, or airport terminal, a normal acting, apparently law-abiding citizen with a holstered weapon is not an acceptable cause for panic in a rational adult.
Period. End of story.
Now, honestly, I can think of some places where people would likely panic, but it’s also not reasonable to expect those sorts of people not to. Last time I checked, though, Costco was not packed to the rafters with barking moonbats.
If someone – anyone – in Costco called the police and knowingly provided false information to the dispatchers, then they need to get nailed for manslaughter at a minimum.
Scumbags have rights, but it’s poor marketing strategy to try to win hearts & minds with examples of scumbags being murdered by police. You want to change Joe Schmoe’s hero-worship of police? You need to show Joe some examples of these types of people (military, had a carry permit) getting whacked.
Joe Schmoe’s ability to empathize is limited to heroes and saints. He has no capacity to even sympathize with a scumbag.
I have said many times that in orde rto change people’s positive views of those in positions of authority, this stuff needs to happen to average white guys much more often.
You guys give Joe Schmoe entirely too much credit.
I live right here smack dab in the middle of Bible thumping red blooded real America where everybody votes for the Republican but after the shooting of the Reverend Jonathan Ayers it took only a few days to convince the majority of them that Jonathan was nothing but a whore hopping hypocrite who got what he deserved.
flukebucket has it right. If “got what he deserved” is considered a reason to give the cops a pass, then any accidental shooting will be immediately followed by smearing the victim’s reputation. Thus, he is both dead and has no honor. (note the complete opposite happens when LEOs die).
My issue with “scumbags have rights” is not only that, but that the cops typically do not KNOW who is a scumbag etc at the time they are interacting with the public. Thus, the cop is not asking only whether the person is acting in way that justifies a certain response, but whether they can get away with it (albeit unconciously). (Hence, black people, the poor, students, are more likely to be given a hard time. e.g mouthy white lawyer with a video camera gets left alone, while black Harvard professor gets arrested at his own house).
Even if you do not like scumbags, if you allow the police to treat them badly, there is nothing to stop them from treating everyone else badly.
Hardison Collins |
July 13th, 2010 at 12:25 pm
– too early to tell, but I, (like #20 Maria and others) am a little concerned about this:
“Slaying of Army veteran”
“Man shot by police was West Point grad”
“graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point
His father was in the Air Force, and his grandfather fought in World War II”
of course, I am aware that these bits are included to make the “story” more interesting on a human level, but this kind of stuff happens too often – it is indicative of a kind of military worship/state worship. These sort of inclinations lead to dehumanization of those who don’t serve the state/military.
and I also know that for a fairly large chunk of the populace this means “I hate the troops”.
But I don’t.
Listen, whatever gets the general public to wake up and see they’re living in a tyranny is fine by me.
If they have to showcase this guy’s military service to generate some empthay or awareness, go for it. We (Agitator readers) all know that this type of thing happens all day, every day. What many of you are failing to realize is your level of awareness is about 100x greater than average Joe. You have to think like a marketer, which is to remove as best as possible your own opinions and biases and look at the opinions and biases of your market demographic. If you want the general public to be aware of these policing issues, you have to show it happening to someone relatable. In this case it’s a seemingly upstanding member of society. The police will do their damndest to paint this guy in a bad light, but they won’t succeed.
That’s why the Calvo raid got so much attention and helped the cause – Calvo is a middle class, educated, professional, white guy. After his incident, what happened? Maryland passed a bill relating to SWAT transparency. People in Maryland became a teensy bit more aware of the problem.
Maybe I’m being Machiavellian, but shit, man. Don’t you all want this stuff to stop? I do. I want the police to be accountable to EVERYONE, not just rich white guys. But if showcasing rich white guys being abused is what it takes, then it’s fine by me.
I think police officers go into any and every situation assuming that the people they are dealing with are scum bags.
Maybe that is the smartest way to do it. Maybe that is the way they are taught. Maybe it is a wise defense mechanism. I don’t know. All I know is that I do not want to have anything to do with any of them ever. Any time I see a police person I get as far away from them as I possibly can.
And my advice to folks who can legally carry a concealed weapon is to make damn sure it is concealed. Because if it is not then some well meaning citizen is going to call it in and you are going to find yourself surrounded by Barney Fife and six of his friends. One is going to tell you to drop the weapon and the other five are going to shoot you when you start to remove it from the holster in order to drop it.
By the way, flukebucket, you’re absolutely right. I have a friend who has a CC permit. He was leaning over at the pump to fill up his car at the gas station, and the handle of his weapon poked out from under his shirt and jacket. Some little old lady apparently just totally flipped out. He’s lucky he got out of there unscathed, apparently.
This is why, when I get my permit soon, my .38/.380 will be in my boot.
The Dutchman, over at Sipseystreetirregulars.blogspot.com, has also linked this. The comments there are, I think, a bit more “vehement” than most of those here, if fewer. I do think there are very few Oath Keepers in that PD.
Sweet Jesus. I’ve just spent hours reading every report of this thing that I could find.
I have said this before and I am going to say it again, because it is the largest implication of this case:
Procedure now precludes thought among police officers. These people are not allowed — institutionally — to reason to a moral conclusion on their own powers. This is a subtle but crucial difference from run-of-the-mill epistemic decay running through the rest of the culture: what you have seen me call “Endarkenment” — the end of reason.
And I am telling you — you heard it from me first:
This is exactly the same epistemic condition found among those who once herded innocent people into cattle-cars at rifle-point without ever once hearing the sounds of their own consciences.
Heed me well. That’s what this is about, and once you understand that, you can see the future unfold before it gets here.
Yup, Billy. Whatever happened to the concept of “Peace Officers?” I tellya, I’d rather have to deal with a Peace Officer than with Officer Friendly, or Officer Safety, or Officer Cartman. Officer Cartman seems to be ubiquitous these days.
Hardison Collins |
July 13th, 2010 at 7:46 pm
@ #46 | Bax
– you are right, but the numerous mentions still raise a red flag for me.
@ #47 | Kristen
– you are also right, I am not pleased that you are right, but the way you illustrate public awareness (or lack thereof) is accurate.
Several witnesses interviewed by the Review-Journal have said they did not see a gun and did not see Scott reach for a gun when police confronted him outside the store.
But the 72-year-old man, in addition to another witness reached Monday, said they did see the weapon and did see Scott reach for it.
Police have said that Scott drew a pistol and pointed it at officers after they ordered him to raise his hands and lie on the ground. Both witnesses gave their accounts to homicide investigators, they said.
The 72-year-old man heard police say, “Get on the ground. Get on the ground.” He saw Scott facing the officers, who were between Scott and the store entrance.
The man said he saw Scott reach with his right hand and pull out what appeared to be a gun in a zippered holster. He recognized the holster, he said, because he has one like it. Officers then fired, and the man saw the gun fall out of Scott’s hand. The witness did not see Scott point the gun at officers.
“I feel sorry for the guy, but he just made a dumb move,” the 72-year-old man said.
The second witness, who also spoke on the condition that his name not be used, was standing near the entrance when he said he heard police shout, “Get down on the ground. Get down now.”
He turned to see why police were yelling, he said, and saw Scott reaching for what appeared to be a pistol in his waistband. The witness said he recognized the butt of the gun and immediately turned toward his wife and covered her as they dove to the ground.
“He was definitely reaching for the gun,” the man said.
The witness turned away before he could see whether Scott fully removed the weapon from his waistband and didn’t see the shooting. He said it did not appear that Scott was trying to “quick-draw” the weapon on the officers.
He heard gunshots soon after. The witness said he has been struggling with how the incident unfolded.
“It’s so totally bizarre to me” that the man would grab the weapon in front of the officers, the witness said.
He added that he doesn’t believe the man deserved to die for his actions, as he has heard other people say. But he said he does believe the officers were justified in their response
“Procedure now precludes thought among police officers. These people are not allowed — institutionally — to reason to a moral conclusion on their own powers.”
That’s the same abdication of reason in which all “zero tolerance” advocates, adherents, and enforcers seek refuge. They *crave* servitude to procedure because they’re too goddamned scared and lazy to reason their way to *anything.*
Strange how most cops go through their entire career never drawing their weapon but one of these cops now has two fatal shootings under his belt but you know what they say what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas
I live in Chesapeake, Virginia. When I first read this story, I called the nearest Costco (in Norfolk), spoke to the manager, and asked if the company has a nation-wide policy prohibiting firearms at their locations. His response was that yes there was, that only law-enforcement personnel, who are carrying documentation to prove who they are, are permitted to carry firearms at Costco locations.
I mentioned to him that according to Virginia state law, a business concern that prohibits firearms on their premises must post a readily visible sign on every public entrance to the business, stating that firearms are prohibited – he was unaware of this, and thanked me for the information.
I did some research on Nevada gun laws, and discovered that the open and concealed carry laws there are very much the same as those in Virginia –also- that the requirement for a business posting a visible sign, prohibiting firearms, is also much the same.
A nervous employee inside the store, telling people that they weren’t allowed to carry guns in the store would not satisfy this requirement – if there was no sign, then Costco should be held liable, along with these trigger-happy Nazis in blue…
In response to #60, what you do not know is that he was indeed slowly reaching and removing his gun. The gun was in a shut, zippered case in his waistband and he was removing it per the officer’s command to ‘drop it’. Three cops were yelling ‘get on the ground’, and ‘drop the gun’.
Erik unfortunately listened to ‘drop the gun’ and proceeded to do so while saying ‘I’m ex-military, I have a permit’. Amid this confusion one cop saw him reaching for the waistband and fired. Of course this caused the others to fire.
A tragedy for everyone there that day. Trust me, there is a lot more info that will come to light in this case that will vindicate Erik.
I HAVE LIVED IN VEGAS FOR MANY YEARS GOING BACK TO THE 70’S AND EVERY YEAR THERE ARE NUMEROUS SHOOTINGS BY POLICE, NO ONE EVER SAYS ANYTHING ABOUT IT. JUST SAD THAT THE POLICE CAN SHOOT FIRST AND ASK QUESTIONS LATER, BUT THATS IT HERE IN VEGAS, YOU CAN FLASH A PAIR OF FINGERNAIL CLIPPERS AT THE COPS AND YOU ARE DEAD…….
I’m a CCW permit holder in Clark County and I shop at that Costco store. After reading the Las Vegas RJ story I drove by to check and, sure enough, there is no sign forbidding weapons. I also saw a camera at the entrance which should provide a clear view of the action.
LV Metro Police haven’t released the 911 tapes and they won’t confirm or deny the existence of the store surveillance tapes. Sheriff Gillespie said the tapes (if any) will be heard first at the coroner’s inquest (which is not yet scheduled.)
I hope that the family of the man that was murder by Metro gets to read this article by the review journal pertaining to the women that messed up the tape during the shooting of a man back in 2009. This is very fishy and smells like rotten eggs. It seems to be a pattern of how metro covers up what happens. Here is the link: http://www.lvrj.com/news/42047132.html
Liberty Belle |
September 28th, 2010 at 9:18 pm
Jury: Officers’ Justified In Scott Shooting
Jury Sat Through 5 Days Of Witness, Police Testimony