Police in Loudoun County, Virginia shot and killed a Costco worker on Wednesday who allegedly “frightened” her boss with a knife and threatened employees, then refused to comply when officers arrived.
Police claim that they tried to use non-lethal force on 38-year-old Mhai Scott, from Sterling, Va. during the encounter, which occurred shortly after 3 p.m. as two officers responded to a call about an employee acting strangely. However, police claimed that when officers went to deploy a Taser, it “did not work” and they resorted to lethal force.
One of the officers was shot in the leg during the incident and was later treated at a local hospital, according to NBC Washington. Police have not said whether he was shot by a fellow officer, but Scott is not accused of possessing a firearm.
Scott worked for Costco contractor Club Demonstration Services, and served pizza samples at the store. One witness told NBC Washington that she spoke to Scott briefly before the incident, remarking that she seemed “nice” and “polite.”
Another witness explained that Scott appeared flustered after discovering she was handing out samples for a pizza the store had run out of and became extremely agitated. “She was frightening her supervisor,” the woman said.
Speaking to reporters Wednesday during an impromptu press conference in the store’s parking lot, Loudoun County Sheriff Michael Chapman refused to place blame for the errant gunfire, saying an investigation is underway.
“Everybody’s been interviewed, the deputy’s been interviewed, and every bit of evidence at the scene is being analyzed,” he said. “Preliminary indications are that she came at the deputies with a knife,” Chapman later added.
This video is from NBC Washington, aired May 30, 2013.
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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