Monday, November 26, 2012

Update 20: The Pitfalls of Interviews

This is the latest "Update" written by Mike McDaniel, a former law enforcement officer with years of experience. All of Mike's excellent, in-depth analyses of Erik's murder and the subsequent egregious cover-up by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Dept. are available at:

In the Erik Scott case—and many others—I have often cautioned readers about witness testimony.  Update 8 dealt with the topic in some detail.    Understanding its pitfalls is one of many reasons I cannot bring myself to watch TV cop dramas, or indeed, much of what passes for police realism at the movies.  The entertainment industry commonly depicts witnesses in one of two ways: (1) the virtuous, absolutely accurate citizen misunderstood by the police until they are unquestionably proved right, and (2) the liar who is eventually exposed and prosecuted by virtuous police officers.  These stereotypical characters fit well into common narrative structures, but in reality, eyewitnesses are influenced by a bewildering variety of factors, many of which are not obvious to investigating officers, and many of which will never be known to investigating officers.
In cases like the Scott shooting–which happen very quickly and unexpectedly–eyewitness accuracy is further hampered by three overwhelming factors: (1) there was a tightly packed crowd of several hundred people, making a consistently, clearly unobstructed view of the action difficult or impossible for many in that crowd, (2) from the first shouted, contradictory command until the first shot struck Erik Scott, only two seconds elapsed—if a witness wasn’t in a position to see that action from the beginning, it would be unlikely they would see much of anything—and (3) From the moment the first shot was fired, virtually everyone in the crowd was running, ducking, hiding and sheltering loved ones with their bodies from what they were certain was uncontrolled, wild police gunfire in the middle of that crowd (an entirely accurate assumption on their part).
Even so, a substantial number of people did see the beginning, the action, and the aftermath of the shooting. The accounts of many of these witnesses are accurate, at least in part.  Some are wildly, almost comically, inaccurate, and others are almost completely accurate.
How can the police know—how can anyone know—which witnesses to believe?  In this case and any other, the best indicators are independent physical evidence and common sense.  Is what witness A says physically possible?  Can it fit into the independently established and accurate time frame?  I’ll discuss this in more detail shortly.
There are a wide variety of other factors to consider as well.  Was the witness actually in a position to see what they say they saw?  Do they have particular prejudices that might influence their statements?  A number of witnesses in this case gave fulsome, even fawning praise of Metro and the officers that killed Erik Scott.  Any competent investigator should be particularly careful about accepting such testimony.
Another important factor is the very nature of the situation.  Many people will naturally assume that if Scott was shot by the police, he must have had a gun, a factor that many in the crowd were reinforced in believing by rumor rushing through the crowd as they asked why the store was being evacuated as they were leaving the Costco that day (store employees told customers there was a man with a gun in the store).  This factor alone could lead people to “see” a gun in Scott’s hand when no gun was present, or turn a cell phone on the ground near his body into a gun.  It could—and did—turn any and every arm or hand movement on his part—in the perception of some witnesses–when challenged by Officer Mosher, into a deadly threat.
Another factor is the possibility of undue influence by Metro.  Many of Metro’s handpicked witnesses have Metro ID numbers, indicating the possibility of records, or perhaps active investigations.  We know that Metro is not only capable of, but appears to engage in, the intimidation of witnesses, as even in the Scott case, they harassed Samantha Sterner with multiple chickenshit traffic citations, and engaged in similar abuses with many that dared to display a magnetic Erik Scott memorial ribbon on their vehicle (Update 7, Update 7.2 and Update 8 provide in-depth information).  Metro also engaged in a completely unethical, unprofessional, and potentially criminal, interviewing tactic with virtually every witness subjected to a taped interview.
Patrol officers and detectives have very different responsibilities.  In a case like the Scott shooting, patrol officers must identify each and every potential witness.  It doesn’t matter if they saw only a portion of the action, it’s vital that anyone who saw anything be discovered and if possible, kept at the scene.  If they cannot be kept there–they’re not under arrest, after all–their complete contact information must be gathered and preserved so detectives can follow up later.  The police never know when the smallest fragment of information might provide a break in the case, or the key to solving it.
Patrol officers are also commonly responsible for having each witness complete written statements on the spot.  They all carry forms for this specific purpose, and there are specific protocols for how those forms must be completed.  Those common protocols were repeatedly broken in this case.  The patrol officer’s job is to handle things until detectives can arrive, and then, as quickly as possible, to get back on the street to handle other calls.
Detectives are responsible for the in-depth investigation that follows the patrol officer’s preliminary investigation.  It is their job to re-interview every witness from whom the patrol officers obtained written statements and to find and interview everyone they did not.  It is their job to dispassionately gather and analyze all evidence and come to a just conclusion, which can lead to not filing criminal charges—virtually always the case when a Metro officer might be charged–or the opposite.
In professional agencies, polices and procedures are in place in the interviewing process to ensure that statements are not influenced—inadvertently or on purpose—by investigators.  It is ridiculously easy to do this.  Most people are at least somewhat intimidated by the police and many have a subconscious tendency to try to please them.  At the very least, they will try to give the police what they  think the police want.
In agencies that are less than professional, agencies—arguably like Metro—that are primarily interested in supporting the pre-determined narrative and in protecting their own hides, there is a common—and unethical, unprofessional, and potentially criminal—technique for statement manipulation.  Why criminal?  Subordination of perjury, a felony which means encouraging others to lie.  It works like this:  a detective sits down with a witness and conducts an interview, an interview they tell the witness is being recorded for later transcription.  But when the interview is over, the detective says: “oh no!  That darned tape recorder didn’t work again!  I’m sorry, but we’ll have to do the interview over.”
Why would a detective do this?  It allows them the opportunity to hear, off the record, everything the witness knows.  During the second interview, they are prepared to shape the interview by failing to ask certain questions, by failing to bring up certain topics, by cutting off certain answers, and by channeling the questions and answers to fit their narrative rather than gathering all the facts.  If a witness is silly enough to try to bring up things the Detective doesn’t want on the record, he’ll interrupt, confuse and obfuscate the conversation, and will certainly fail to ask the kind of rational and necessary follow up questions the statements of the witness would provoke in any competent investigator truly interested in the truth.  And of course, that darned tape recorder can fail–again–without warning.
Another tactic commonly employed—and a dead giveaway to professionals—is taking far too little time to conduct a competent interview.  The interview of Officer William Mosher—the man primarily responsible for the death of Erik Scott—took only 15 minutes.  The Interview of Officer Joshua Stark—who fired one round into Scott’s back as he fell, face-first to the ground—took only 10 minutes.  The interview of Officer Thomas Mendiola—who fired four rounds into Scott’s back and was later fired for giving a firearm to a felon—also lasted only 10 minutes.  Only two other officers were interviewed—Dustin Bundy (four minutes) and Dean Vietmeier (two minutes).  Their interviews are discussed in the same link as Mendiola.
In my police career, I routinely conducted interviews lasting an hour and more, even for misdemeanor crimes.  A ten or fifteen minute interview of an officer who shot and killed a citizen is, by itself, an enormous red flag.  No one, not Sherlock Holmes himself—could possibly come close to conducting a competent, professional and minimally complete interview in such a ridiculously brief span of time.  Even establishing a rudimentary timeline of the event would take considerably longer.  However, if the detectives were interested only in checking certain boxes in the predetermined narrative, 10-15 minutes would be sufficient.
During the trial-preparation process for the first civil suit in this case (which was dropped by both parties), a great deal was discovered when witnesses initially interviewed only by Metro were professionally interviewed by investigators working for the Scott family, or were deposed.  Virtually every witness noted that Metro detectives used the “that darned tape recorder didn’t work again,” ploy.  If their equipment was so defective, one might expect them to get working gear.
Witness and Las Vegas Public Defender Howard Brooks, was one of the prosecution’s handpicked Inquest witnesses.  He did not stick to the narrative and the prosecutor treated him as a hostile witness, attacking him repeatedly on the stand—his own witness in a hearing with no adversary.  Here is some of his testimony from that Inquest:
And I had one purpose in talking to this officer, and that was to avoid what I see over and over again in murder cases.  And that is…that police always get a statement that’s off the record, and it allows statements to be characterized in all sorts of ways because there is no record of it.
I told the officer, ‘Look, I want to give a statement, but I want it to be on the record.  I want it to be taped.” …he said ‘No problem.’  I gave a very detailed statement.  And then at the end, he goes, ‘well, my tape machine wasn’t working so we’ll have to do it again.
How can the police—or a jury—know whose testimony is most credible?  Who should be believed and who must be ignored?  The best way to proceed is to believe those whose statements accord with common sense and with independent evidence.
Is what a witness says reasonably possible?  Some slick lawyers will try to convince people that anything is possible, but clearly, “anything” is not.  Monkeys will never fly out of my posterior, I will never be transmogrified into a beautiful woman—even intensive surgery wouldn’t help there—and a tiny gun at home on Scott’s nightstand cannot simultaneously be in his right front pocket at the Summerlin Costco to be shot and damaged by Off. Mosher.
Does the evidence support the statement of a witness, or contradict it?  I’m not suggesting that the witnesses are knowingly lying.  I have no evidence to believe that.  However, I do know how badly wrong witnesses statements can be–even when given in good faith–and how easily they can be manipulated without the knowledge and consent of a witness.  What follow are some general indicators of what I’m saying.
Many witnesses to the Scott shooting later contacted Scott’s attorneys and told them Metro refused to interview them.  Despite their telling officers at the Costco after the shooting that they were eyewitnesses and wanted to give their testimony, they were told to go home and that Metro would contact them if they were needed.  The officers did not take their names or contact information; there was no way they could be contacted.
This is an indication of gross incompetence, cherry picking, or both.  Any supervisor for whom I ever worked, learning I had done that would have visited swift and terrible punishment upon me, and rightfully so.  The last thing any professional police force wants the public to think is that they are not interested in hearing citizens who want to give them information relating to police matters and crimes.  Competent agencies spend a great deal of their time trying to win the trust of the public and convincing the public to talk to them.  This is particularly true in an officer-involved shooting where professional agencies are very careful to avoid even the appearance of impropriety.  Refusing to take the statement of a citizen would certainly give that appearance.  On the other hand, a police force interested only in supporting the narrative by handpicking specific witnesses would be expected to do exactly that.
Attorney Brooks was a rare exception: he would not take “no” for an answer, more or less forced Metro to take his statement and later turned the tables on them during the Inquest.
The Encounter:  We know beyond any doubt, by means of the 9-11 recording of Costco Security Employee Shai Lierley, which recorded Mosher’s shouting and the gunshots, that from the moment Off. Mosher began yelling contradictory commands at Erik Scott until the first gunshot, which touched off the fusillade of seven police bullets in the middle of a crowd of hundreds, only two seconds elapsed.  However, Metro’s handpicked witnesses could not remotely agree.  Their estimates of the time involved ranged from five to 30 seconds.  One witness suggested that Scott actually engaged in a lengthy argument with Mosher; no other witness said anything remotely like this.  Most, in fact, did not see or hear Scott say anything to Mosher—he didn’t have time.
The Gunshots:  Independent evidence (to whatever degree Metro can be trusted) suggests a total of seven rounds were fired, but the estimates of witnesses ranged from two to five and various vaguely stated numbers.  Some saw Mosher shoot Scott, some saw Stark and Mendiola shoot Scott, but none saw Scott shoot at anyone.
Scott’s Gun:  As I proved in Update 19, Metro’s own evidence and actions clearly indicate that Erik Scott could not have drawn his Kimber .45 and surely could not have dropped it on the pavement where he was shot.  Even so, a few witnesses were sure Scott not only drew a gun, but pointed it at Mosher.   However, even they could not provide a clear description of the gun they believed they saw.  A few believed Scott might have had something in his hand, which might have been a gun.  A few thought he might have been holding a gun in a holster.  At least one thought Scott was holding a holster—there was no mention of a gun—and several believed they saw something in his hand—and something on the ground near his body, something described as a small gun, a gun rug, something black, something brown, even “a clip.”  What is remarkable is the number of transcripts that avoid any mention of anything on the ground near Scott’s body.
Attorney Brooks again provided interesting—and from the evidence, accurate—Inquest testimony on this topic:
…at this point, Erik Scott is falling to the ground on his face.  He is either on the ground, or he was falling to the ground, and officers two and three [Stark and Mendiola] commence shooting him as he’s falling on the ground on his face…
If the officer one [Mosher] had not killed him, it seemed to me clearly that officers two and three were making certain he would not be alive… I then circle around beside the first officer, trying to look at the body… I don’t see a gun anywhere around him.  That’s what I was looking for.  But I could see the bullet holes in the back.
Mosher and Scott’s Actions:  One area where most witnesses agree is that all three officers present—Mosher, Stark and Mendiola—had drawn their handguns long before Scott and Samantha Sterner walked out the front door of the Costco.  The majority of witnesses also agree that Erik Scott was behaving unremarkably.  He was just another of the several hundred Costco Customers calmly walking out of the store that day in response to the Costco evacuation request.  Most who actually saw the beginning of the confrontation also agree that when confronted by Mosher, Scott was surprised.  A few thought that when Mosher pointed his weapon at Scott and began to yell at him, Scott appeared to be “agitated.”  This might be a believable observation for Erik Scott and virtually anyone else.
NOTE: Police officers normally do not draw their weapons unless they are in imminent, deadly danger, and most agencies have rules governing this issue.
A few witnesses suggested Scott drew a handgun in one way or another.  More saw only Scott moving his right hand in one way or another, some saw it moving toward Scott’s back, others his front, and one saw both hands moving toward his waist at the front of his body. One witness thought Scott was only “gesturing” with his hands, and another witness thought Scott might have pointed a gun at Mosher with his left hand.  Scott was right handed and his handgun was holstered behind his right hip.
Dr. Edward Fishman–a physician–who gave both a written statement and a taped interview, never saw a gun in Scott’s hands, but did see him reach for his side and possibly pull up his shirt slightly, which caused Mosher to shoot him.  During his inquest testimony, Fishman said:
It [Mosher's yelling at Scott] was all very confusing.  I was hearing commands, “Drop it, drop it’ is what I thought I heard.  And there was nothing in Mr. Scott’s hand to be dropped.
Fishman, like Brooks, carefully looked for a gun on the ground near Scott’s body and saw none.
One witness—a minister—argued that Scott actually pounded the customer service counter with the butt of a chromed gun to get the attention of Costco employees and came out of the Costco with that gun in his hand.  Not only did the employee who waited on Scott fail to back up that wild statement, there is no doubt that Scott had only his Blackberry in his right hand when he left the Costco.  That is the only thing on the ground near his body after he was shot.
Another interesting omission is that detectives failed to ask witnesses who believed they saw a gun on the ground near where Scott had been shot precisely when they made that observation.  As my theory of the case indicates, Scott’s .45 was found in the ambulance on the way to the hospital.  Even Mosher’s statement reveals he did not actually search Scott after handcuffing him, and he did not find Scott’s .45 (or any gun) which was still in its holster, inside his waistband behind his right hip.  Mosher also did not find the Ruger in Scott’s right front pocket and his interview says nothing about it, despite the fact that Mosher claimed he was worried that Scott might be wearing body armor (under a t-shirt in Las Vegas summer weather) or another gun).  It would have taken only about 15 minutes once the .45  was discovered in the ambulance to retrieve it and place it at the scene, making a time frame for such observations an important matter.  Of course, anyone working to support the narrative would ignore this important fact and assume the gun always had to be present.
Mosher’s Commands:  Witnesses had a wide range of beliefs about these commands, which again, they felt took from five to 30 seconds.  Some could not hear anything being said, and others heard only a tiny portion.  Some heard things Mosher clearly did not say.  Some, despite these handicaps, felt Mosher was giving Scott clear orders, which he must have been refusing to obey.  Even Officers Stark and Mendiola said they had no idea what Mosher was saying, but were sure it must have been commands which Scott was disobeying.  They also said they had no idea who fired, so of course, they both had to shoot Scott.
Mosher actually said:
Put your hands where I can see them now; drop it, get on the ground; get on the ground.
If Dr. Fishman and Mr. Brooks can be believed—and independent evidence supports them, not Metro—Scott had nothing in his hand apart from his Blackberry.  Even Mosher, in his taped interview, admitted that only a few hours after killing Scott, he had no idea where Scott’s hands were.  If he did not know where Scott’s hands were, why was he ordering him to present his hands?  If Scott never had a gun in his hand—a hand which location Mosher did not know—why was Mosher ordering him to drop “it?”  Drop what?  And better yet, why, fractions of a second later, if Scott was actually threatening him with a gun, did Mosher suddenly develop the urge to forget about telling Scott to drop the gun, and instead order Scott to get on the ground?  Remember that the best evidence, the Costco security camera feed, has vanished under highly suspicious circumstances.
Even if Scott understood and could process each of these contradictory commands in the span of two seconds, he could not possibly have had time to respond to one, let alone three distinctly different commands demanding three distinctly different actions.  No matter what Erik Scott did—or didn’t do—he was dead the moment Mosher laid eyes on him.
Several of Metro’s handpicked witnesses said Scott did not move and only stood stock still before being shot.  Several said he raised both hands in a sort of common “surrender” gesture.  Common sense and independent evidence suggests these witnesses should be taken seriously.
Next Monday, I will post Update 20.2, which will provide representative summaries and excerpts from some of the interviews to which I’ve alluded in this article.  In Metro’s files, they run more than 500 pages—Inquest transcripts and depositions run hundreds more, so there is simply not space to include them all, or even a substantial portion.
Even so, some interesting trends did develop.  A surprising number of witnesses were upset at Metro for starting a circular firing squad in the midst of a large crowd of innocents.  A somewhat smaller number expressed amazement that innocents were not shot by the police.  Bystanders did not escape uninjured.  An elderly woman in a wheelchair, trying to duck for her life, tumbled from her wheelchair onto the pavement, badly scraping her arm.  Doubtless others suffered cuts and scrapes, but Metro’s reports make no mention of this.  A few witnesses actually took the officers to task for failing to simply let Scott walk into the parking lot, away from innocents, before approaching him.
What is remarkable about the transcripts is the methods used by Metro.  Many statements mention nothing about a gun, or a gun on the ground near Scott’s body.  These are two of the most important facts in this case, yet detectives appear to have simply forgotten to bring them up to many witnesses.  In many interviews, when a witness was clearly about to stray from the narrative, detectives immediately changed the subject, dropped that line of questioning, interrupted, argued with them, or otherwise stopped them.  The same is true for a wide variety of important factors, factors any competent investigator would have been sure to cover in great depth and detail.
In many respects, the interviews–so poorly done are they–raise far more questions than they answer, which is never a good thing in any investigation.
More than anything, I continue to be amazed by the incredibly poor quality of police work in this case.  Either Metro is systemically incompetent, or they are so corrupt they are willing to appear to be hopelessly inept because the truth is far, far worse.
As always, I’m certain readers are more than capable of making up their own minds.  I hope to see you again a week from now.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Final Installment of "The Permit"

The final installment of "The Permit," an EPILOGUE, is available now at:

Erik Steele's spirit observes his killers' souls crossing over, knowing they will soon discover a Universal truth: There is no escaping His justice.

** This concludes the online serialization of "The Permit." Many thanks to all who joined me on this journey.

I am now revising and editing the first draft, and a number of significant changes are being made to the manuscript. With a bit of luck, "The Permit" should be available, before Christmas, as an e-book readable on the Kindle, Nook, iPad, a regular computer, etc. My agent and I will also submit the manuscript to traditional publishers, ensuring "The Permit" eventually will be available in hardcover and paperback. **
— Bill Scott

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Lawless America Interview

Last Tuesday, I was interviewed by Bill Windsor, a dynamo traveling the country and interviewing victims of justice-system abuse. Pam Zubeck's story about Bill's visit to Colorado Springs was posted on the  Independent's news site ( Oct. 17th. Pam has done a great job of following developments related to Erik's murder-by-cop.

Details of this massive campaign to expose officialdom corruptions are at:

— Bill Scott

Lawless America comes to town

POSTED BY  ON WED, OCT 17, 2012 AT 12:39 PM

A Georgia filmmaker is traveling coast to coast to film stories about government corruption, involving everyone from judges to district attorneys to cops.
The filmmaker, Bill Windsor, stopped at the Comfort Suites on Kelly Johnson Boulevard in north Colorado Springs on Tuesday. He set up his camera equipment in a cramped hotel room where several people had lined up to speak; one group of citizens had showed up to complain about money laundering they say is going on at a prison in Florence. Anyway, Windsor was so busy filming case after case that I didn't get a chance to speak with him.
Lawless America Bill Scott Las Vegas Police
  • Windsor: Documenting the bad guys who wear white hats.
The reason I made a mad dash up I-25 was because Bill Scott, local author, former Air Force flight test engineer and Aviation Week correspondent, was scheduled to relay the story of the July 2010 killing of his son, Erik, in Las Vegas by the cops. Erik, a West Point grad, was accused by a Costco security guard of acting strangely. The guard called the cops, who showed up just as Erik was exiting the store and gunned him down. The local authorities have ruled the shooting justified. We've reported on his case here.
Lawless America Bill Scott Las Vegas Police
  • Scott: Avenging his son's death.
Windsor wants to make a movie of everyone's stories, which he hopes to screen for Congress in January. His website is called Lawless America.
I wasn't able to stick around for Scott's filming, but he told me later that there were several in the room with tears in their eyes by the time he finished his tale. Then Windsor asked Scott something he'd never been asked before, through countless interviews he's given. His son's case got a lot of press in Las Vegas, where cops shoot lots of people and are almost never found to be unjustified in doing so. Scott raised such a ruckus that county commissioners there changed the inquest procedure to include questions from family members of the deceased.
Anyway, the question was this: If you could speak to your son, what would you tell him?
Scott: "I would just say, 'Hey, Erik, even though you were murdered and your character impugned, I want you to know I'm doing my best to make sure you didn't die in vain."
Indeed, Scott and his family first sued the cops. When it was clear that government immunity would prevent a favorable decision, they dropped the case. Last summer, they sued Costco, where the shooting occurred, for wrongful death. Attorneys for both sides are laying out plans for discovery, he said.
More about Erik's killing is available here, notably an analysis that suggests the cops committed crimes during their investigation to try to create a storyline to justify the outlandish shooting.
Scott, who has written several books about space warfare, also has written a book about his son's shooting that's just about complete. We'll let you know when it's available.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Mike McDaniel's Analysis — Erik's Guns vs. Metro's Lies

The following analysis was written by Mike McDaniel, a former U.S. Air Force and civilian police officer/investigator. His excellent, logical treatise unmasks the lies and sloppy "investigation" of my son, Erik's, murder by Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Dept. officers. As Mike shows, Erik did NOT have a second firearm on his person. Instead, his condominium was illegally broken into by a Deputy Public Administrator (accompanied by a Metro cop), and two of Erik's legally registered pistols were stolen. This proves, beyond any doubt, that Las Vegas Metro cops committed multiple crimes in their attempts to cover up Erik's murder — and none of the guilty parties have been held accountable.

A complete series of Mike's analyses is available at:

ANALYSIS - by Mike McDaniel

July 10, 2012 was the second anniversary of the death of West Point graduate and decorated armor officer Erik Scott at the hands of three Metro officers at the Summerlin Costco in Las Vegas.  As I noted in Update 17 on March 23, the case against Metro was dismissed—not over a lack of evidence as readers will soon discover—but over concerns that the 9th Circuit (the circuit most overturned by the Supreme Court) would throw out any victory won on appeal over immunity concerns.  That decision was as disappointing as the second anniversary of his death was immeasurably sad for those who know and loved Erik Scott and for those who love justice.
The disappointment was tempered, however, by the fact that a civil suit was filed against Costco on June 8, 2012, as I reported on that date: 
I have it on good authority that Metro, and particularly the Police union, are in a state of panic.  They thought this case had gone away for good.  In addition, Metro officers are already trying to minimize the damage with comments in response to news stories.  An investigation by the Federal Department of Justice is also ongoing and a matter of great concern for Metro.  They have much to be concerned about.

One of the primary handicaps I've had in reporting on this case is the general lack of hard and complete evidence in the public realm.  Metro, as is its common practice, slow-rolled the release of any information.  However, with the end of the case against Metro, I have been able to review not only Metro's case, but other evidence gathered in the pursuit of the civil case against Metro.  I now have hard evidence that arguably proves Metro's account of the killing of Erik Scott is not only impossible, but laughably inept.
In Update 7, originally posted at Confederate Yankee (now closed to all but archival access) on 10-23-10 and reprised at SMM on November 17, 2011, I outlined a theory of the case, based on all evidence available at that time.  It would be worthwhile to review Update 7 in its entirety, but for the convenience of readers, I'll provide the Metro version of events in contrast with my theory of the case, and as always, trust in my readers to determine which version is most credible.  All information in this update is the most recent and correct available.
The Metro Narrative:
Responding to a report of a man in the Costco with a gun who was wildly out of control refusing to leave and wacked out on drugs, three Metro officers (among many and a helicopter) arrived first and took up positions near the main door of the Costco store.  An officer had already ordered the store evacuated and hundreds of patrons—including Erik Scott and his girlfriend Samantha Sterner—were calmly walking out the front door.  Scott passed the officers and was pointed out to Off. William Mosher by Costco Security employee Shai Lierley.  Mosher, whose gun was already drawn, verbally challenged Scott, who drew his own Kimber .45 handgun still in its holster, and pointed it at Mosher.  Mosher immediately fired two rounds into Scott, one striking him in the heart and the second penetrating the very outside of his right thigh.  Officer Thomas Mendiola fired four rounds into Scott's back and buttocks and Officer Joshua Stark fired one round into Scott's back.
Mosher handcuffed Scott but did not search him or try to render medical aid.  Scott was quickly put in an ambulance and transported to an area hospital.  On the way, one of the EMT's found a Ruger LCP handgun and spare magazine in Scott's pants pockets and eventually turned them over to Metro.  Scott's Blackberry was found on the ground near his body and was photographed along with his Kimber .45, still in its black, inside-the-waistband holster, also found on the ground near his body.
At the Coroner's Inquest, Metro's narrative continued to be embellished.  Metro officers testified that the Ruger, which was supposedly in Scott's right front jeans pocket, "might" have been damaged by the bullet that penetrated his thigh.  That handgun was displayed by an officer, but no damage was pointed out, visible or otherwise obvious, and a later attempt to examine both weapons was resisted by the Prosecution.
The Theory of The Case:
As I've written in previous updates, Erik Scott was not under the influence of drugs and was not behaving erratically in the Costco on July 10, 2010.  Additional witness statements and evidence—not Metro's relatively few handpicked and manipulated witnesses—prove this, and I'll be writing about that information in the near future.  When Costco employees began evacuating the store, Scott and Sterner calmly walked out amid a great many other patrons.  Contrary to media accounts, there is no evidence that Scott was ever actually asked to leave the store--therefore he could not possibly have refused to do what he was never asked to do--until the request to evacuate was made of every patron.
So unremarkable was the supposedly drugged-out madman Scott, he walked right past and within mere feet of the officers at the front door until Lierley pointed him out to Mosher, who grabbed him by the shoulder (or didn't—Mosher couldn't remember what he actually did only a few hours after the shooting), causing Scott to turn to face Mosher whose handgun was already drawn and pointed at Scott from very close range.
Surprised, Scott raised both hands and may have intended to lift his shirt to show Mosher his holstered handgun, still in his waistband.  Mosher began to yell a stream of contradictory commands at Scott.  From the moment he began yelling until his first shot was fired, only two seconds elapsed.  Mendiola and Stark had no idea who fired or why, but shot Scott in the back as he was falling and flat on his face on the pavement anyway.  Scott not only had no time to draw and point his handgun at the officers, he had no time to respond to the panicky, contradictory commands (audible on the 911 call between Lierley and the police dispatcher): "put your hands where I can see them now; drop it, get on the ground; get on the ground."
Update 14, which recounts Mosher's official Metro interview is available here.  Update 14.2--Stark's interview—is available here, and Update 14.3—Mendiola's interview—is available here.
As the officers hastily and without regard for the backdrop—where their bullets could end up—fired in the middle of a crowd, people ran and ducked for cover.  Some threw their bodies between their loved ones and the panicked police gunfire.  Even Mosher admitted firing in the middle of a large crowd.
Mosher almost immediately and brutally jumped on Scott's back and handcuffed him, but did not search him and did not find his Kimber .45 still in its holster in his waistband behind his right hip.  He also missed the Blackhawk polymer dual magazine holder with two loaded .45 magazines on Scott's belt behind his left hip.  Scott was quickly loaded into an AMR ambulance, which equally quickly left for the hospital.
Probably at about the same time, EMT Chris Thorpe found the Kimber, still on Scott's body, but in his report strangely wrote: "weapon found to right pocket," and "found clip to left pocket."  He did not clarify these cryptic passages.  He turned the weapon, holster and one or two magazines, but not the polymer magazine holder, which was threaded through Scott's belt, to a Metro officer believed to be an Officer Oswald who accompanied him on the way to the hospital (standard police procedure).
More or less simultaneously, the officers at Costco panicked when they realized the only thing on the ground near where Scott fell was his Blackberry.  There was no gun.  However, the medics found Scott's thick wallet in his right front pocket—where he always carried it--almost immediately when they arrived and turned it over to the police.  In that wallet they found Scott's state concealed carry license and his local blue cards—gun registration cards—including one so new it wasn't laminated: the card for his Ruger LCP .380 ACP pistol, purchased only a few weeks earlier.  It is ironic that carrying the blue cards is not required, but Scott was a man who followed the law and correct procedure, so he did, giving the police that killed him the means to plot against him after his death.
It would take the detectives about 45 minutes to arrive, and during that time, a hasty scheme was enacted.  They had to have a gun at the scene, otherwise there was no justification to shoot Scott, but there was no gun.  Informed about the discovery of the .45 in the ambulance, they made arrangements to get that gun back to the scene and planted it.  But what about the gun the medic found in the ambulance?  That was already on the record.  How could the officers at the scene have missed finding a .45 that was supposedly already on the pavement at Costco anyway?  The blue card provided the answer.  They had to find the Ruger, not the other, full-sized handguns on Scott's blue cards.  It would be embarrassing to Mosher not to have found that much smaller handgun, but they had bigger worries, including Costco video footage of Scott's behavior in the store and of the shooting, but they ensured that video would disappear.
The officers took advantage of Sterner, still very much in shock after watching Scott shot to death mere feet from her, and obtained permission to search her car in the Costco parking lot.  There was no legal or legitimate reason to search that car.  It was not in any way involved with the shooting.  But there was one compelling reason to search: the Ruger they desperately needed might be there.  Unfortunately for Metro, the car wasn't even Sterner's; she borrowed it from a friend.  They found nothing.
Almost immediately, Metro enlisted the help of Steve Grodin of the Public Administrator's office. Grodin, an ex-cop, tried to get permission from Scott's brother Kevin who was traveling by air to enter Scott's Las Vegas home, supposedly to "protect" his property, but it was a ruse (all of this is covered in Update 6  and Update 11.3There was no legal, legitimate reason to search Scott's home.  It was far away and had no relation to the shooting or any crime.  Kevin refused Grodin and the police entry, and under Nevada law, had no standing to authorize entry anyway.  In fact, Nevada law specifically prohibited a search and seizure under the circumstances, but Metro was desperate.  Sterner, who did have legal control of the home, repeatedly refused the police entry, but they ignored her.  Finally, at about 1900 that night, Metro and Grodin hired a locksmith.  They entered the home and took a number of token items to cover their real purpose: seizing Scott's Ruger, holster and a spare magazine, which were on a nightstand by his bed where they always had been.  Scott never carried the Ruger.
Because the newly purchased Ruger was not listed on Scott's concealed carry license, Metro tried to claim that by carrying it, he was guilty of a felony.  Only later, when they realized how lame their story was, and when the involvement of the Public Administrator began to generate some heat on the blogosphere and in the local media did they concoct the idea that the Ruger had been damaged by the round that penetrated Scott's thigh, apparently as a means to try to definitively place the pistol in Scott's right front pocket.
In the meantime, detectives would interview Mosher, Mendiola, Stark and others.  None of them would mention the Ruger because when the interviews were being conducted, they had no idea whether they could find and use it as they intended.  They still had not entered and searched Scott's home.  In fact, the interviews are virtual textbook cases of how not to conduct interviews of officers involved in shootings.  The ultra-brief interviews themselves reveal that Metro was not interested in competent, complete interviews that would help to reveal the complete truth, but only in minimally checking all of the necessary blanks in the Metro narrative, which virtually always vindicates officers that kill citizens.
The Ruger LCP .380 ACP Pistol (black polymer frame, stainless steel slide):
(1) Scott never carried the handgun.  He purchased it on June 12, 2010 with the intention of giving it to his mother who lived out of state when they were next together.  In the interim, he kept it, in its Blackhawk #2 inside-the-waistband holster, with its single spare magazine, on a nightstand at the side of his bed.
(2) Those who knew Scott best, including Samantha Sterner who lived with him, testify that he only carried his Kimber .45, never the Ruger or any other backup gun.
(3) Sterner explained in a pre-trial deposition that on July 10, 2010, she was the last to leave their bedroom before they left for the Costco.  The Ruger and accessories were in their normal place on the nightstand when they left, but missing when she was again able to enter the home after the search by Metro and the Deputy Public Administrator (Steve Grodin).  This was confirmed by members of the Scott family.
(4) When Metro interviewed Sterner shortly after the shooting on July 10, 2010, they did not mention the Ruger, nor did Sterner.  Metro said nothing because they had not yet been able to get into Scott's home--in fact, Sterner repeatedly refused them entry and she was the person legally in control of the home--so they could not possibly have mentioned the Ruger because they had no idea if they could find it and use it as they hoped.  If, however, Scott had been carrying the Ruger, the investigators must have known about it shortly after the AMR (private sector) ambulance left Costco and the Ruger was supposedly "...found to right pocket" on Scott's body.  Sterner did not mention it because as far as she knew, it was still at home on the nightstand.  She would not realize Metro took it from her home until the next day.
(5) Scott always carried his wallet in his right front pocket.  Metro documents show it was found in that pocket, and Scott's jeans were blood-soaked from waist to knee on that leg, completely covering the area of the right front pocket.  Scott's wallet and its contents, including the blue card for the Ruger, were also blood stained.  Scott's wallet was unusually thick: about 1 ¾".
I conducted an experiment: placing Scott's actual wallet in a pair of jeans—you'll see them shortly—it was actually impossible to put the Ruger—in its holster or otherwise—in the pocket with the wallet.  There simply was not sufficient room, and the wallet was not as thick as it was on July 10, 2010 as a number of items and all cash had been removed.  Even if it was possible to stuff the Ruger in the pocket with the wallet, it would have been virtually impossible to sit down, and actually impossible to remove the Ruger with any kind of speed.  In other words, if it was possible to wedge the Ruger into Scott's pocket--even without the holster--he would have been utterly unable to rapidly remove it, essentially rendering it useless.  Scott knew better.
In addition, the holster, spare magazine and handgun returned to Bill Scott (Erik's father) from Metro had not the slightest trace of blood on them.  This too would have been plainly impossible if any of these items were in Scott's right front pocket, but precisely what one would expect of a gun and accessories that resided entirely on a bedroom nightstand.
Consider also that by returning the holster to Bill Scott, Metro has locked itself into the story that Scott was carrying the Ruger in that holster "... found to right pocket."  How else could Metro be in possession of the holster that was on Erik Scott's nightstand?  The opposite side of the holster is as devoid of blood stains or any other blemish as the side visible in Figure 1.  The holster could easily have just been removed from its manufacturer's packaging, which again, would be quite impossible if it had been in Erik Scott's right front pocket, which was literally dripping in blood.
(5) Damage to the Ruger:

Figure 1

Figure 1 is the Ruger in its holster.  Notice once again that the holster is absolutely pristine, which is to be expected of a brand new holster.

Figure 2

Figure 2 illustrates the damage to the grip of the Ruger.  Notice the angle of the travel of the "bullet" and the very slight damage in the form of a groove in the back of the magazine.  In photos of the Ruger and its two magazines taken at the autopsy, the magazines were undamaged.
Figure 3

Figure 3 illustrates more clearly the bullet travel and slight grooving of the magazine.

Figure 4

Figure 4: Notice that the diameter of the damage appears to be about 9mm in size rather than .45 caliber, the caliber of the bullet fired by Mosher into Scott's thigh.  Again, notice the upward angle of the "bullet" path.   This is a .380 (9mm) diameter cartridge.  Notice how perfectly it fits in the "bullet" damage.

Figure 5

Figure 5: A clearer view of the damage.  Again, notice the upward path of the damage and the slight grooving of the magazine, not along the same direct path as the damage to the frame.
Figure 6

Figure 6 is the coroner's diagram illustrating the entrance and exit points of the five bullets striking Scott.  Only the round that struck him in the thigh fully penetrated his body.  What the illustration cannot clearly show is that the bullet struck Scott on the very outside edge of his thigh and penetrated only 5 centimeters (about 1 5/8") of his thigh.  If it had struck him only about an inch more to the outside of the thigh, it would have been only a graze.

Figure 7

Figure 7:  This is a side-by side comparison of the relevant portion of the coroner's diagram and a standard pair of jeans like Scott's.  The actual Ruger pistol was properly placed in the right front pocket and an actual sized scan of the pistol taped directly over the Ruger as it was positioned in the pocket.  It was not possible to perfectly scale the coroner's diagram to the pocket, and the diagram does not fit perfectly 

Figure 8

Figure 8:  A closer view of the relative position of the Ruger in a jean pocket and the location of the entry wound.  Keep in mind that the wallet is not in the pocket with the Ruger because it was quite impossible to fit both in the pocket.

Figure 9

Figure 9:  A side view of the same.  The bullet exited Scott's thigh only 4 cm from the entry point and at a slight downward angle. Notice the relative paths of the bullets. 

Figure 10

Figure 10: Notice too that if a bullet impacted the grip of the Ruger in a jeans pocket, it would not have drilled through the grip as did the supposed bullet track, but would have struck the front side of the grip and likely missed the back altogether due to the curved contour of the wearer's body.  The supposed bullet track in the Ruger is exactly wrong in the vertical and horizontal axes.

This is the approximate angle any bullet fired from straight in front of the body—the angle of the bullet fired into Scott's thigh—would have had to have traveled when striking the Ruger as its grip followed the contours of Scott's body in his right front pocket.
Notice that the damage pattern on the pistol is quite wrong, as is the direction of the shallow groove on the magazine.
The Kimber Ultra Carry .45ACP Pistol (black frame, slide and grips) With Blackhawk #7 Inside-The-Waistband Holster:
(1) The Ultra Carry has a standard 7 round, model 1911-type magazine.  Coroner's photos taken the day of the shooting indicate only a single magazine--the magazine in the weapon--and a total of six rounds (five in the magazine, one in the chamber).  Scott was more than tactically wise and proficient to carry a full magazine (7 rounds) plus one chambered round, which is the proper way to carry any 1911-type pistol.  Since Metro returned only that single magazine, we are expected to believe that Scott not only carried no spare magazine for his primary (actually his only) weapon, but carried only six of a possible eight rounds in that weapon.  We are also expected to believe he carried a spare magazine for the Ruger--a gun he could not have removed from his pocket without great and time-consuming effort--both Ruger magazines were full, and a round was chambered.  
In other words, if Metro is right, Scott did not properly load his primary handgun and did not carry a spare magazine.  However, he did properly load a tiny, backup handgun, and he did carry a spare magazine for that gun—no one is really sure where--but he carried the backup in such a way that it would have been impossible to use it if necessary.  Oh yes, and he carried a dual magazine pouch for the magazines of his primary weapon, but didn't carry any magazines.
(2) Based on the information previously available, I originally thought Scott carried a single spare .45 magazine, possibly in his left rear pants pocket, however, autopsy photos make clear Scott was wearing a polymer Blackhawk double .45 magazine pouch behind his left hip and over his left rear pocket--a good concealment choice considering the hot summer climate of Las Vegas.  This directly suggests he was carrying at least one spare magazine—all competent semi-auto shooters do—and likely, two for a total of three magazines and 22 rounds.  Only a single magazine was returned to Bill Scott, and the Blackhawk pouch was not returned. It was discovered only through photos such as figure 11.  So we are once again expected to believe that Scott carried too little ammunition in his .45 and no spare magazine-- despite carrying a polymer double magazine pouch for that .45--but carried a .380 backup pistol, fully and properly loaded, with a spare magazine.  Lest anyone raise the issue, Scott did have more than two spare .45 magazines and a substantial quantity of .45 ACP ammunition.
Figure 11

Figure 11: The Blackhawk magazine pouch as it appeared at the autopsy on Scott's belt over his left rear pocket.  The autopsy depicted only one magazine and six rounds with the .45 handgun.

Figure 12

Figure 12:  The Kimber's holster is made with a synthetic suede-like surface that tends to stay in place against skin and clothing, helping to prevent the holster from being pulled out with the handgun when the gun is drawn.
(3) It would have been virtually impossible for Erik Scott to have drawn his handgun and pointed it at Off. Mosher in less than two seconds.  The fastest human beings can process a hostile action and make a physical response in about ¼ second, but most are much slower.  Scott's holster had a feature that would have ensured he could not remove the holster and handgun in less than two seconds.  Most competent police officers, on the range, under no deadly threat, cannot draw and accurately fire a handgun from a duty holster in even two seconds.  Inside-the-waistband holsters are even slower.

Figure 13

Figure 13 illustrates the specially designed belt catch that prevents the holster being lifted off the belt when the handgun is drawn.  In order to remove the holster, one must, at the least, pull and hold the catch outward to clear the belt.  Under most circumstances, one must also hold down the clothing and/or belt to ensure the holster is smoothly removed.  No one practices simultaneously quickly removing the holster and handgun--it's simply not necessary.
The Search Of Scott's Home:
There was no need to search Scott's home.  It was far removed from the Costco, and was not in any way involved in the shooting.  There was no possibility of any evidence of a crime there.  Therefore the police had no reason to be there.  They did not seek a warrant, which if legitimate would have taken much less time than they spent trying to get the permission of a relative, a relative who, under Nevada law, had no authority to give such permission, just as Nevada law specifically prohibited the Public Administrator from searching Scott's home.  The only person--under Nevada Law--who had authority to allow them entry was Samantha Sterner, who repeatedly denied them entry.  They had to pretend that she did not exist and so, ignored her and locked her out of her own home.  There are, therefore, questions that must be asked and answered:
(1) Why didn't they get a warrant?  They had no grounds.  In order to secure a warrant, they would have necessarily committed perjury--in writing--on a document--an affidavit--under the sole control of the courts.  They would also have had to falsify the return, a second perjury count.  They could not be sure they could control the content and disposition of those documents; they could not be sure they could control the judge and court personnel who would see the documents; the paper trail would have been too great and too obvious.
(2) Why did they need to search Scott's home?  There were two reasons:  First, to find and seize the Ruger to make their narrative work.  Second, to gather intelligence on Scott, in the hope of finding something illegal or anything they could use against him to damage his character, such as the kinds of medication he was using.  Metro often does this, as illustrated by the case of Metro Sgt. Darrin Densley (Update 10).  In that case, Sgt. Densley, with no justification whatsoever, fired at a young man seated in his vehicle, miraculously striking the very top of the car door, narrowly missing the young man.  Rather than apologize, the police illegally searched his car and apartment and found nothing.  They arrested him for interfering with police; the charge was quickly dismissed and Densley was ruled justified in nearly killing the young man for no reason.
When Metro and Steve Grodin of the Public Administrator's office searched Scott's home without cause, a warrant or legal justification, they took a small handful of guns, a few watches and other items, including a West Point ceremonial saber mounted in a shadow box.  They obviously did this to maintain the fiction that they were merely protecting Scott's property.
If so, they were very poor protectors indeed.  They missed several far more expensive watches than they took, several very expensive rifles under Scott's bed, and a variety of other obvious and expensive items, including one item not reported before now:

Figure 14: H&K USP Tactical Handgun, .45 ACP, Serial #25-115836
Scott kept this expensive handgun (manufacturer's suggested retail price $1301.00) in the cushions of his living room couch.  His home was on a golf course and there had been home invasions in the neighborhood where criminals broke in through glass doors like those Scott had in his living room.  It too was present when Scott left his home for the last time and missing when Metro and the Public Administrator were done.  The H&K and Ruger do not appear on official documents as having been taken from Scott's home, but the H&K is listed on Scott's concealed carry permit. He was carrying it in his wallet at the time of his death.
In order for Metro's story to work, two essential assertions must be true:  (1) Scott must have pointed his .45 Kimber Ultra Carry—in its holster—at Mosher and dropped it at the scene when he was shot, and (2) Scott must have been carrying the Ruger in his right front pocket, which pistol was shot by the bullet striking his thigh, was not found by Mosher, and was found by EMT Chris Thorpe in the ambulance on the way to the hospital.  If either of these assertions is false, Metro's entire story of the Scott shooting falls apart and inescapably reveals that the officers had no justification to shoot and kill Erik Scott.
We now know that Scott was not carrying the Ruger.  Samantha Sterner is certain that he never carried that gun, and never carried two guns simultaneously.  She is certain it was on the nightstand by their bed when they left that morning and missing when she returned a day later.  Metro changed the locks and refused to give her the key to her own home; she had to get it from Kevin Scott--who got it from the Public Administrator's Office--when he arrived from out of state the next day.  Metro obviously needed to pretend that Sterner--who shared responsibility for the home with Scott and had her own key--did not exist so her refusal to allow them to search could be ignored, and as a shaky means of justifying the search specifically prohibited by Nevada law.
We also know that it is unusual for Metro officers to accompany employees of the Public Administrator's Office in their duties.  The PA's office has authority to secure property only when there are no relatives or no one else actually living in a given home.  Enforcement of criminal laws is not their business any more than securing property in the administrative sense is the business of Metro.  Officers might accompany officials of other agencies if danger is expected, but that was certainly not the case with Scott's home, and no claim of potential danger has ever been made by Metro or by Grodin who treated the matter as a routine case of protecting property.
We know that the Ruger and its magazines and holster had no blood traces, which is impossible if they had been in Scott's blood-soaked pocket.  We know that it is physically impossible to fit the Ruger into a jeans pocket with Scott's thick wallet, which was drenched in blood and unquestionably in that pocket.  Scott wore his jeans reasonably tight, not teenager tight, but properly fitted.
UPDATE 1: 08-09-12, 0815 CST:  How could it be possible that EMTs could have found and removed Scott’s wallet from his right front pocket before he was placed in an ambulance and taken to the hospital–which we know without any doubt occurred—without also finding the Ruger Metro claims was in the pocket?  If the Ruger was there, it would have been on top of the wallet as Scott lay, face up, impossible to miss by sight or touch for anyone dipping a hand into the pocket to remove the wallet.  Obviously that would not have been possible.  The Ruger was never there.

We know that even if the Ruger was in Scott's pocket, it could not possibly have been hit by the bullet that penetrated his thigh.  Not only was the grip far too high on Scott's body, the angle of damage on the handgun was exactly the wrong direction in two separate axes.

UPDATE 2: 08-09-12, 0815 CST: Any bullet passing through the Ruger must have also struck Scott’s wallet; the Ruger is actually about the size of a standard wallet.  However, the wallet was untouched by any bullet, and undamaged by any flying plastic debris.  In addition, the wallet was so thick that if a bullet did strike it, it would be very likely to have stopped it, preventing it from fully penetrating Scott’s thigh.
We know that it would have been absolutely impossible for the Ruger to have been in Scott's right rear pocket--or any other pocket--if Metro's tale of bullet damage to the Ruger is true.  It was Scott's outer right thigh, at about mid-thigh level--that was struck and penetrated--on a downward angle--by Mosher's bullet.  That was the only bullet that fully penetrated Scott's body, hence the only bullet that could have in any way damaged anything in one of Scott's pockets, and that bullet was nowhere near any of Scott's pockets.
Metro's forensic report written by "D. Angel Moses" contains this notation: the right front pocket of the jeans in item 8 [the jeans] were small pieces of black plastic.  These pieces are similar to the plastic frame/grip of the Ruger pistol.

However, there were no photographs of these pieces of plastic and no further description.  How many pieces?  What sizes?  In addition, there is no indication that these pieces of plastic were ever entered into evidence.  Further, the autopsy report, in describing the wound in Scott's thigh makes no mention at all of plastic pieces or residue, and describes the wound as being:
...without significant up/down deviation.

Autopsy photographs of the wound clearly indicate an obvious up/down deviation.  The bullet exited Scott's thigh lower than it entered, which one would expect of a bullet fired by someone standing directly in front of Scott and shooting at a downward angle.   In addition, those photographs--and x-rays--show no evidence of plastic particles or residue.
All of this is significant.  We know that it was impossible for the Ruger--even if it was in Scott's pocket--to have been hit by the bullet.  However, it would not be hard to damage the Ruger, collect some of the debris, and put it in Scott's pocket to be later found by a forensic technician.  The forensic examination was done much later than the autopsy.  It is likely that the debris seen by the forensic technician--if one can trust anything from Metro--was placed in the pocket after the autopsy, for photos of the Ruger at the autopsy do show the same damage depicted here (except for the groove on the Ruger magazine).  If the bullet that struck Scott's thigh hit the Ruger first, one would expect plastic debris in the wound, perhaps even lodged in the cavity of the bullet itself, which was recovered on the pavement at Costco, but there was no mention of such debris in, on or around the wound or on the bullet or in x-rays.  And there was no forensic analysis of the plastic particles to prove that they came from the Ruger.  Obviously, Metro considered a mention of their presence sufficient and did not bother with the normal forensic procedures necessary to unquestionably link the plastic--if it actually existed--to the Ruger.
We know that the magazine pouch Scott was wearing was sized for standard .45 ACP magazines.  If Scott was carrying a single spare Ruger magazine, it would have been far too small for the pouch, rattling, very hard to acquire and draw and prone to falling out.  He could have put the magazine in his left rear pocket, but why would Scott carry a double polymer .45 pouch if he was carrying no spare .45 magazines and only a single Ruger .380 backup magazine?  Obviously, he would not.
Remember that Thorpe wrote "clip found to left pocket."  He did not write "clip found in left rear pocket," or "clip found in right rear pocket," and he did not in any way identify that "clip."  It is therefore not at all outside the realm of possibility that the "clip"--or clips--were indeed " left pocket," in that they were in the magazine pouch directly over Scott's left rear pocket.
Keep in mind that Erik Scott was tactically trained and proficient.  He owned only expensive, professional grade firearms, plentiful ammunition and professional accessories.  If he was carrying a double mag pouch for .45 magazines, it strains credibility to suggest he would not be carrying at least one spare .45 magazine.
Remember too that in the inquest, EMT Thorpe who found the gun on Scott was not shown either weapon and asked to identify them.  This is a fundamental, rookie prosecutor mistake.  Anyone finding an important piece of evidence such as the handgun that makes Metro's case possible--or exposes it as fraudulent--must be asked to positively identify the weapon he found.  He was not, I suspect, because Metro could not be sure he'd identify the right weapon and he could not be counted on to confirm damage on the weapon as the Kimber he found was certainly not damaged.  Remember too that the Kimber was all black, and the Ruger had a black plastic frame and stainless steel slide.  What if Thorpe said "the gun I found was all black?"  Those in the courtroom for the inquest noted Thorpe was very nervous indeed.
This also raises one other possibility.  Keep in mind that I do not have conclusive evidence to prove this--it is only a possibility--but it well explains why Thorpe was not shown the handguns and asked to identify them.  It is possible that Thorpe did not find the Kimber .45 that day, but one of the private sector AMR EMTs in the private sector ambulance that transported Scott did.  However, as a Clark County employee, Thorpe would logically be much more susceptible to being "persuaded" to support the Metro narrative. This would surely account for the "oversight" of not having the man that "found" the fateful handgun identify the handgun he "found."  Thorpe could not identify a gun he never saw or handled, which also accounts for the complete lack of a description of the handgun--and magazine ("clip") in his report, and it would surely account for his obvious and remarkable nervousness in the inquest.  Remember that when the jury wanted to see the handguns later in the inquest, the prosecutor claimed it would be too difficult to bring them back to the courtroom--sheer nonsense--and the request was dropped.
There can be no doubt: Scott was not carrying the Ruger on July 10, 2010.  I was able to examine the Ruger first hand.  I do not believe it was struck by a bullet.  The damage appears to have been done by the impact—perhaps multiple impacts--of some kind of tool, which would explain the shallow groove in the magazine that was not present when the autopsy photographs were taken.  Perhaps someone thought the magazine should also be damaged, but thought better of it after inflicting the shallow groove, which in any case was in the wrong direction, or perhaps they were merely clumsy in inflicting the damage.  And remember that the angles of damage are precisely wrong in the horizontal and vertical axes.  They do not account for the downward path of the actual bullet, and they do not account for the actual position of the weapon inside the pocket, if it was actually there, which we now know it was not.
Can I be absolutely certain the weapon was not shot?  No, I can't.  Unfortunately I don't have the specialized equipment, including several Ruger frames, necessary to conduct forensic testing.  But even if the Ruger was damaged by a gunshot, that shot did not occur while the handgun was in Erik Scott's pocket on July 10, 2010.
If Scott was not carrying the Ruger, what does that mean for the rest of Metro's story?  That means that the only gun EMT Thorpe--or anyone--could have found—"weapon found to right pocket"—was Scott's .45 Kimber Ultra Carry, which was indeed in his waistband directly behind his right rear pocket.  He did not specifically identify the weapon in his report despite the fact that even if he was completely unschooled in firearm terms and types, each weapon bears the name of it's manufacturer, it's model and it's caliber.  All he needed to do to accurately describe it, down to the serial number, was simply look at it, or ask the officer in the ambulance to look at it and give him the information.
This means that Scott could not possibly have drawn his .45 in its holster, pointed it at Mosher, been shot, and dropped it at the scene.  Unless Metro wants to claim that Scott was carrying a third handgun, the only gun left--indeed, the only gun Scott carried that day--was the .45 which must have remained in his waistband in its holster and was missed by Mosher whose interview account of his actions is one of the most confusing and pathetic performances I've ever seen by a police officer. Take the link to his interview and see for yourself.  I'll provide information in upcoming updates that demonstrates that virtually all of the most credible witnesses saw no firearm on the ground, particularly those that actually looked for one, and virtually all of the others who thought they saw something, saw only something that was black and might have looked like a firearm, or a gun rug or something like that.
And what of Scott's .45 magazines and missing ammunition?  Since EMT Chris Thorpe wrote "found clip to left pocket," and made no mention of Scott's polymer double magazine pouch, that limited Metro to only one spare magazine, the magazine with the Ruger.  That meant any .45 magazines Scott was carrying in his Blackhawk polymer magazine pouch had to disappear.  The two rounds missing from Scott's .45?  This is only an educated guess, but I suspect they were removed as insurance early on, in case it was somehow necessary for Scott to have fired at Mosher. There is no mention in the autopsy or forensic reports of more than six rounds.
But what about the autopsy photos of the magazine pouch?  How could Metro have allowed that to be photographed, yet pretended it didn't exist, refusing to return it to Bill Scott and ignoring all it implies?  It's entirely possible they overlooked the photos, or simply forgot about the pouch.  It's also possible they didn't care.  I'll explain in more detail shortly.
There was unquestionably one black item on the ground that day: Scott's Blackberry, which he habitually carried in his right hand.  Scott was an energetic, always on call businessman who was constantly using his Blackberry.  He did not carry it in a pocket or wear a holder for it.  It was the only thing in either of Scott's hands when he was confronted by Mosher and the only possession of Scott's on the ground near his body after he was shot.
The Scott family has Scott's phone records, which reveal he sent several e-mails and text messages while shopping at Costco--hardly the acts of a deranged, drug-addled madman.  In fact, seconds before abandoning his shopping cart and walking out of the Costco, Scott had been typing a text message.  There is no doubt his Blackberry--which Metro tried repeatedly--without success or legal authority--to crack, was in his right hand when he was shot, and thereby dropped to the pavement as he fell, mortally wounded.
If I am correct, what does this mean?  How could a major metropolitan police department so clumsy screw up evidence? How could they so badly and obviously fail to construct a plausible story?  Metro has, for decades, brutalized, even killed a great many citizens under highly suspicious circumstances, and to date in the modern era, not a single officer has been charged with a crime.  Even so, Metro is constantly paying out substantial settlements, but virtually never disciplining or firing officers.
If I am correct, Metro is also guilty of a variety of crimes in this case, arguably including falsifying multiple official documents, tampering with witnesses, conspiracy, perjury and subordination of perjury, burglary and other offenses.  I don't suspect the Clark County Prosecutor would be interested in following up on these issues.
I suspect that Metro is so used to getting away with any outrage for so long, they no longer feel the need to construct plausible scenarios.  Their delaying and obfuscating tactics have served them well, so well their institutional and individual arrogance has convinced them they are untouchable.  To a large extent, that has been true.  But perhaps with the hope of a new presidential administration, the kind of honest, professional federal investigation necessary to begin to make a dent in the corruption that everyone knows is Las Vegas, might have a chance.
I'll next focus on how Metro handled its handpicked witnesses, versus witnesses properly interviewed and not handpicked.