LAS VEGAS- In a circle in the corner of the Summerlin Costco parking lot, friends and strangers lit candles in memory of 39-year-old Erik Scott.
"There's nothing we can do to bring Erik back," yelled one speaker. "But, there is something we can do to change the system."
They stood shoulder to shoulder, firmly believing the West Point and Duke University graduate did not deserve to die. "I know Erik," said his friend Ivan Sher. "I know him really well. I know his disposition, and there is no possible way that what was represented could have actually happened."
Police arrived at the Costco on July 10, after employees reported Scott was destroying merchandise inside the store. Scott had two guns on him at the time. He also owned a concealed weapons permit. Shortly after Metro Police officers arrived, they say Scott pointed one of his weapons at them. Three officers fired seven shots, killing Scott. Conflicting eyewitness accounts soon emerged, however, saying Scott was no threat at all.
While Tuesday was a somber night for Scott's loved ones, they also hope this emotional occasion will apply pressure on Metro. "We're hopeful," said Scott's friend Anthony Bonifazio. "I don't know if we're confident. But, we're hopeful it's going to happen, that we're going to see these tapes, and we're going to hear these 911 tapes as well."
The department says it has been unable to retrieve surveillance video from Costco's hard drives. Scott's friends believe those tapes will show he did nothing wrong. "There are some very serious questions about the video," said Scott's friend and co-worker Mike Pusateri. "A lot of experts don't buy the comments about that data being lost."
Scott's family has already purchased billboards that urge Metro to release more information about the shooting. The family plans to buy more billboards that ask eyewitnesses to come forward. Scott's friends say they hope this effort will lead to the truth.
"Continue pushing forward until we find out what happened, and we see the video," Pusateri said.
The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department says all the facts of the shooting will be presented at a coroner's inquest, which has not yet been scheduled.
Tuesday night's vigil was one of two held in Scott's honor. The other vigil took place in Lancaster, California where Scott grew up.
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