As regular readers know, my co-written book, License To Kill: The Murder of Erik Scott, is available at Amazon.com in print and Kindle forms, and also direct from the publisher at North Slope Publications.com. I’ve been working on this case since summer of 2010. The SMM Erik Scott archive, with every article I’ve written, is available here.
Recently, Ed Opperman of The Opperman Report was kind enough to interview me on the case for two hours. I always think I sound like Kermit the Frog on tape, but the interview has been getting good reviews:
Erik Scott and his fiancé were shopping at the Summerlin Costco. Erik stooped to examine merchandise on a low shelf and his shirt rode up, momentarily exposing his lawfully carried concealed handgun. A panicky security guard called management, and later, against Costco policy, the police. This set off a bizarre chain of events that sent a huge number of police personnel–eventually around 60–and even a helicopter, rushing to the Costco. All that for a call that should have been peacefully handled by no more than two officers. Erik never threatened anyone, wasn’t behaving oddly, and posed no danger to anyone. At the order of a police administrator that wasn’t at the scene and had no idea what was happening, the store was evacuated.
Erik and his fiancé were two of the more than a hundred shoppers calmly walking out of the store, where three sweaty, panicky cops lurked by the main entrance, their guns already drawn. Erik was so unremarkable he walked unrecognized right past–within a few feet of–William Mother, the cop that would kill him. The security guard pointed Erik out to Mosher, who grabbed Erik by the shoulder.
Erik turned around, and within two seconds, Mosher screamed three contradictory commands, and shot Erik in the heart and right thigh.
As Erik fell to his knees, his blood pressure dropping to nothing, and then face down on the concrete pavement, the other cops, Thomas Mendiola and Joshua Stark, fired a total of five additional rounds into his back. The crowd, estimated at two hundred or more, surrounding the cop shoot fest, dove for cover, threw themselves in front of loved ones, and ran for their lives. Mosher later testified that he was trained to fire wildly in the midst of a crowd rather than merely follow Scott–who was doing nothing at all threatening–to the parking lot where it would have been far safer to speak with him if Scott were actually dangerous. He wasn’t.
Erik had no time to do anything before being shot in the heart. Despite being on the force only a few years, Mosher had already killed before. Mendiola was soon fired, but for giving a firearm to a convicted felon. Mosher “retired” in January of 2017 after serving 11 years. Stark is apparently still on the force.
Mosher claimed Erik drew his handgun, a Kimber 1911 pattern .45 and pointed it at him–still in its holster. Erik, already dead, was quickly thrown into an ambulance. On the way to the hospital, one of the EMTs found that gun and holster on Erik and gave it to a Metro officer. The gun was quickly returned to the scene and planted on the pavement near Erik’s body.
This was a major problem for Metro. How could they explain the gun found in the ambulance if Erik’s gun and holster were supposedly dropped on the pavement when Mosher shot him? They discovered Erik’s concealed carry paperwork in his wallet that indicated he had a Ruger.380 pocket pistol. They could claim this was the gun the EMTs found on Erik. But where was it? This sparked a comically panicky search for the pistol that ended about seven hours later when the police, without a warrant, broke into Erik’s home and stole the little pistol from the nightstand by his bed.
Erik purchased the gun only a short time before, planning to give it to his mother (she lived out of state) when next they were together. He never carried it, but Metro claimed Erik was carrying not only his Kimber .45, but the little Ruger.
If this sounds incredible, gentle readers, it’s only the beginning. The cover up was so bizarre no Hollywood screenwriter could have imagined it. Disappeared video, tampering with witnesses, tampering with evidence, missing reports, threatening citizens, rampant perjury, virtually any corrupt police practice one can imagine happened in the Scott case. All this and more is in the book. By the time Erik was murdered, it was so common for Metro to kill innocent citizens, activating the well-oiled Metro cover up machine was routine and automatic. It’s a practice that has continued to date.
Metro was used to sweeping its murders under the rug with little blowback. They were shocked when the Scott family, and this scruffy little blog, would not let them get away with murder. Internal Metro sources–there are some honest cops working there–reported that then-Sheriff Doug Gillespie was seen and heard to cry in frustration words to the effect of: “who the hell are these people? Why don’t they just get over it?”
I was eventually able to obtain a copy of the complete Metro report, as well as interviews and depositions, many of which Metro never saw, all of which made the book possible.
The book details all of this, and much more. It’s a fitting tribute to the memory of an extraordinary man. It also reminds us of our responsibility to ensure those we hire to protect and serve remain honest. In Las Vegas, that may well be impossible.
I hope, gentle readers, you’ll buy the book, and recommend it to your friends. The feedback we’ve been receiving from those that have is uniformly positive, and as always, thank you for taking the time to read this scruffy little blog.