The Loudoun County Commonwealth's Attorney said the fatal shooting of a woman inside a Costco store in Sterling, Va., was justified.
The family of 38-year-old Mhai Scott may never know why she acted out on May 29 this year at her job.
Scott was passing out pizza samples at the store. According to the results of an investigation, she started waving a knife and scissors in a threatening way.
Images of the 13-inch knife and the scissors Scott was holding was released to the media. She used these items to do her job as a food demonstrator. But witnesses say she was acting bizarre.
“She just looked grumpy. She looked like she didn't want to be there. She looked like she didn't want to be working,” said one witness.
Loudoun County Sheriff's deputies responded to a 911 call and encountered Scott. In an image from the store's security camera, Scott would have been standing to the left of the freezer, but out of the range of the camera. That is where deputies encountered Scott, who they say charged at them.
One deputy used a Taser to take her down, but it did not do the job. Another deputy shot and killed her.
The commonwealth's attorney released their report outlining details of the investigation. Here are the top findings:
“According to all accounts, there were numerous commands for Miss Scott to drop the knife, drop the scissors,” said Loudoun County Commonwealth’s Attorney Jim Plowman. “None of them were complied with.”
When a deputy attempted to use a Taser on Scott, Plowman said, “It made contact with Miss Scott. However, for reasons unknown, the Taser did not function.”
Plowman said Scott raised the knife and scissors and charged towards the deputies.
“The deputy immediately to his left was able to get his firearm and discharged his weapon five times, striking Miss Scott four of those times.”
Based on police reports, witnesses and evidence, the investigation shows Scott gave deputies no other choice.
“I've concluded the deputies’ actions constituted justifiable homicide as a killing done [with] a reasonable use of lethal force,” said Plowman.
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