LAS VEGAS (KSNV & MyNews3) -- The family of Erik Scott has dropped a lawsuit against the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department in exchange for Metro’s agreement not to pursue reimbursement for the Department’s legal fees.
Scott was shot and killed by LVMPD Patrol Officers July 10, 2010, after they responded to reports of an armed individual inside of the Costco store located at 801 South Pavilion Center Drive in Southwest Las Vegas. Arriving officers shot and killed Scott when he refused to comply with the officers’ orders to surrender. A Coroner’s inquest unanimously ruled the shooting justifiable on September 28, 2010.
Sheriff Doug Gillespie said that after a year-and-a-half of proceedings and litigation it has been a long road for our officers to get closure in this case.
“As Sheriff my hope is that the Scott case has shown the community that it is best to reserve judgment until a thorough investigation can be done,” Gillespie said. “Although the Scott family dropped their lawsuit, at the end of the day we still have a family who grieves the loss of their son and brother.”
In a statement released today, the family of Erik Scott said they were reluctant to drop the lawsuit but continue to believe that Scott was wrongfully killed.
"We are extremely disappointed, and this action is being taken with great reluctance," said William B. Scott, Erik's father. "We thank our attorney, Ross Goodman, and his team for their outstanding efforts on Erik's and our behalf. It's time to move on with our lives.”
"We feel Erik was wrongfully killed, through an incredibly tragic mistake," he added. "Officer William Mosher claimed he tapped Erik on the shoulder, and Mosher confirmed, at the coroner's inquest hearing, that Erik responded by stating that he had a concealed firearm. Erik was trying to comply with the officer's conflicting commands, when Mosher fired two shots. The commands and those first shots occurred within two seconds. Mosher's first round hit Erik in the heart, killing him instantly. The second round went through Erik's right thigh. Officers Mendiola and Stark then fired another five rounds into Erik's back, after my son was on the ground and dying."
Despite multiple witnesses confirming Erik was complying with Officer Mosher's commands, recent Ninth Circuit Court opinions finding "qualified immunity" for police officers, even after agreeing excessive force had been used, makes it difficult to proceed with this lawsuit.
"While we believe the Costco surveillance-video data — which captured the shooting — provides irrefutable evidence that Erik was wrongfully killed, the 'missing' segment of that video makes it difficult to overcome those qualified-immunity legal issues," Scott said.