How did someone with such a psychiatric history get a CHL?
This is a discussion on Inquest into Controversial Police Shooting of CCW Permit holder in Las Vegas Begins within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; The official public inquest into the shooting of CCW Permit holder Erik Scott of Las Vegas on July 10th this year has begun. This shooting ...
The official public inquest into the shooting of CCW Permit holder Erik Scott of Las Vegas on July 10th this year has begun. This shooting created much concern because of the lack of any criminal record for Scott, along with him being a US Army veteran who had served his country. He also held a good job and had a girlfriend, and was not considered to be antisocial in any way at all. It thus shocked many in the Vegas community when police gunned him down while he was shopping at the local Costco store with his girlfriend.
A great deal of troubling information about Scott was revealed at the inquest today. It turns out that Scott had suffered a bad back injury during a parachute jump while he was in he Army. And because of that, he had increasingly become addicted to pain medications. Although he had legal prescriptions for his meds, testimony was heard that he was shopping around and getting prescriptions from multiple doctors, and was over-medicating himself with much higher dosages that his doctors recommended.
Tests on Scott's blood revealed that the level of morphine in his body was so extremely high that it actually was at a level that is normally considered to be well beyond the lethal range. He also had an extremely high level of Xanax in his blood, which he had also been taking for severe depression. Past and present doctors reported that he was badly depressed, but had not pursued seeing a psychiatrist, due to the high cost.
Scott was so heavily drugged when he died, that it well could have significantly impaired his actions, and caused him to act erratically, as some witnesses described he did. His judgement could have also easily been impaired, and could thus account why people say that he did not follow the orders of police officers.
So it is looking like this may have simply been a very tragic situation, and the shooting was not caused by negligence on the part of the police. Some have even speculated that Scott may have wanted to die so he could end his painful agony, and thus used the police to commit "Suicide by Cop".
In any event, I think that this was a sad and tragic event, and nothing more. It is too bad that he was not able to get better help with his pain, and the drug addiction that it helped facilitate.
Here are some news reports about today's inquest in Las Vegas into his death:
Here is a photo of the Medical Examiner testifying during today's inquest, showing the extremely high levels of drugs that were in Scott's bloodstream. She said that this indicated drug abuse over a long period of time, allowing his body to develop an unusually high tolerance for the drugs.
And here is a photo of Scott's parents and other relatives in the audience at the inquest. They have repeatedly accused the police of covering up the real facts of how Scott died. The American Civil Liberties Union has joined the family in criticizing the way that the investigation is being handled by authorities.
Rest in peace Erik Scott. You were not a bad person.
Here is his photo:
How did someone with such a psychiatric history get a CHL?
A CCW is like a parachute; if you need one, and don't have one, you'll probably never need one again.
Always sad to hear someone like that go in such a downward, self-destructive cycle.
Anyway, I do wonder to what extent it has to do (if any) with the incident at hand.
Yeah, it is amazing the lengths some people will go to relieve themselves from excruciating pain. The law basically says that you must just suck it up and live with it. Trying to do what is needed to get some relief just turns you into another drug "abuser".
Doesn't explain the shooting. That will require evidence he pulled his gun out of a holster. It will be interesting to see what turns up ahead. The problem will be that witnesses often provide conflicting stories - they can miss what is there, or see what is not due to mind tricks. Without video, there may be no good way of reconstructing the final events. However, I have concerns with the way the inquest seems to be headed:
The information here doesn't explain the cops waiting for him at a crowded exit as opposed to following him his car - confronting an armed suspect in a crowd isn't a good game plan, unless there is no other one available.
And the drug levels were obviously not fatal levels. 1.5 beers puts me to sleep, but I drink about once/year. There is no point to emphasizing "fatal" levels of drugs that obviously were not fatal to someone using the prescription drugs regularly.
Nor does this in any way sound like a suicide by cop profile - he had no particular reason to believe cops were going to be there. If he wanted to commit suicide by cop for back pain, this was NOT the way to go about it. It would have been far more reliable to just go somewhere, pull a gun, and shout a lot while folks ran away.
It sounds like the inquest is blowing smoke rather than seeking facts.
If anyone is buying this BS...they are extremely gullable.
Yea, he was so distrought and depressed he decided to go buy a cooler at Costco...while there he was pulling bottles out of a case of bottled water (I've done this before) to see how many bottles would fit in the cooler.
Then what? He just up and said screw it! I wanna die by suicide by cop today!
Please. Anyone with an ounce of common sense and perception can see this is a cover up by the LVPD. They are twisting the truth to fit with the security guards claims during the 911 call...has that tape ever been released? Bet it will be now. Has the security footage been found yet? They are twisting facts of this mans life in order to cover themselves.
I have a WCP....and I can relate to many of the facts about this guys life (that's all I'm saying)....and yes, it would be easy for a crooked dept. to twist my life history to make me look horrible.
Unreal. LV needs to be swept under the rug.
Of course the surveillance record is unusable as it doesn't support the official story.
Hmmm.... I find it interesting that he had several times the lethal dosage of morphine in his system, yet he was still able to function well enough to go shopping at Costco.
Even somebody who had built up a tolerance over time would “typically” be non-functional, if not unconscious, with that amount of morphine in their system.
The assistant DA says Scott showed "suicidal ideations" (thoughts about suicide)...but someone trying to commit suicide wouldn't conceal his weapon, wouldn't be walking calmly out of the store with his fiancee, and would be trying to draw attention to him by showing how dangerous he was. Rush Limbaugh used a lot of painkillers, but that was addiction, not a public threat or an attempt at suicide. The very fact that no one was running away from Scott at the time is pretty convincing evidence he wasn't trying to commit suicide by cop.
I'm not saying this is what happened, but it is a real possibility. I'm just not one to blindly defend someone simply because they belong to the rather large and fairly open club of permit holders. I have known some real morons in the past who had active permits.
Last edited by TN_Mike; September 23rd, 2010 at 01:05 AM. Reason: spelling
"They didn't confront him in the store because as anyone who has shopped at a Costco or Sam's can tell you, there a million places to hide and/or ambush someone from in one of those stores. Waiting for him to exit was in fact the safest course of action for the police and the public."
I didn't suggest they should have run around the store with guns drawn...but waiting in the exit while the entire store is evacuated is also a dumb idea. There were a ton of people in the immediate vicinity - NOT what you should set up for stopping a guy with a gun. That is why you wait until the guy quietly leaving the store - which all the witness accounts I've seen have him doing - reaches the parking lot. And since he wasn't walking around with a gun in his hand, maybe even try TALKING to him?
"I'm afraid that won't matter as the case has now been made that he was a prescription drug abuser. This will most likely seal the case against him."
Shouldn't. We don't normally kill people for abusing prescription drugs...or non-prescription drugs.
"It is highly likely that if that is what happened, it occurred to him only at the instant that he did it. That in fact seems likely if he was under the influence of narcotics as they claim."
The assistant DA said Scott was thinking about suicide. I know of no reason to believe suicide by cop is normally a spur of the moment event taken while standing next to your fiancee. The inquest seems to be trying to establish that Scott was deliberately trying to be killed. That is inconsistent with shopping with your girlfriend and leaving quietly.
It also leaves open the question of why did the cops confront him in a hostile manner, UNLESS he had a gun out already. I would also be curious if the Costco employee testifying that Scott pulled his gun is also the one who told the cops Scott was acting like a nut.
"Again, it is possible that he decided to go the suicide by cop route only when confronted by the police.
I'm not saying this is what happened, but it is a real possibility. I'm just not one to blindly defend someone simply because they belong to the rather large and fairly open club of permit holders."
I'm not defending anyone based on his having a CCW permit. I'm basing it on the fact that the other shoppers were not running away from him, so he obviously was not acting like a threat when exiting the store. Demons or not, we don't shoot people for having a gun, and neither should cops. Nor should cops be escalating a potentially dangerous situation. If Scott had been seen waiving a gun around, and other shoppers were running away from him, then I'd say the cops should have shot him...but no one is claiming that is what happened.
Focusing on drug use (legal, it seems) and suggesting he was trying to commit suicide doesn't answer the question of why a man with no gun in his hand was confronted by cops holding guns while in the middle of a crowd. That took a potentially dangerous situation and made it much worse than it needed to be. Maybe Scott went for his gun, maybe not. Maybe Scott thought the cops wanted him to hand over his gun, maybe not. But since he was leaving the store without a gun in hand, confronting him in a crowd seems like a really bad idea. Of course, I'm ex-military, not a cop...but I just don't see how anything about this shows good judgment on the part of the cops.
Nor do I see any signs his behavior was consistent with someone trying to get cops to shoot him.
Well, I think that one has to reasonably accept the medical examiner's data as being fact.
If she was falsifying this information and lying as part of a cover-up, then that would mean that a vast criminal conspiracy is going on within Las Vegas public officials. I just don't believe that there is any likelihood of such extreme corruption going on.
Could the police have potentially handled this better? The answer to that is probably yes, in my opinion. But blaming them for his death is another matter entirely. With so many medical doctors taking the stand today and saying that Scott was overdosing on drugs, and also suffering from depression, one has to accept that these issues probably played some role in this tragedy.
Even if one did believe that a government cover-up was taking place, all of these doctors could not possibly be involved in such a conspiracy too.
If not, then it is irrelevant. I've known a number of people who have battled depression, and I've been depressed at times too - but none of the people I knew tried to kill themselves or harm others. Nor do we kill people for the crime of depression, or overuse of prescription drugs. In terms of knowing if this was a 'good killing' or bad, what we need to know is if Scott tried to kill the cops.
No one I've read claims Scott was acting aggressive or weird or threatening as he exited the store...so what evidence is there that he responded to the cops by pulling his gun out of his holster and trying to shoot them?
A question that also needs to be asked is if the cops need additional training, etc in how to handle a situation like this, or if they handled it well. I obviously think that good shooting or not, they screwed up big time in how they handled the problem. If a suspected gunman is leaving the store quietly, why would anyone want to confront him in a crowd? Why not wait? And why not try talking to him?
If there is evidence that Scott was acting as a threat while leaving the store, it would change everything. However, I have found no accounts of frightened people trying to steer clear of him. All the witness accounts I've seen, including comments from the cops, indicate he was leaving with no gun in hand.
Some say that changed when the cops confronted him, and others say it did not. I doubt the eyewitness accounts will be reliable enough to settle the question. But I do think it is reasonable to suspect the cops actions escalated the situation, and that would give them a measure of responsibility for the outcome.