Woman’s Shooting in Costco Ruled Justifiable Homicide

LANHAM, Md. (CBSDC) — The death of a woman who was shot by a police officer inside a Costco store in Sterling, Va., in May has been ruled a justifiable homicide.

Loudoun County Commonwealth’s Attorney Jim Plowman made the announcement at a press conference outside the Loudoun County Courthouse in Leesburg Wednesday.

Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Liz Mills said the shooting occurred on May 29 at about 3 p.m. after a deputy responded to a disorderly conduct call at the store. The woman, a Costco employee, was later identified as Mhai Scott, 38, of Sterling.

Plowman said Wednesday that Scott was holding a knife and scissors when the deputies arrived. They fired a stun gun at her, but the charge didn’t subdue her. She then charged at one of the deputies and a second deputy withdrew his firearm and fired five shots, hitting her four times.

The shooting was ruled justifiable, Plowman said, because the deputy was defending his colleague.

The investigation report still leaves some questions unanswered.

It is unclear why the Taser Scott was shot with only gave off a charge for one second instead of the intended five, allowing her to continue her attack. Authorities are also unsure why Scott stopped taking anti-psychotic medication that was prescribed to her and if that had an impact on her behavior that afternoon.

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