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UPDATED: Woman with knife killed at Sterling Costco, deputy injured

Mike Chapman Sterling CostcoPhoto by Crystal Owens. Sheriff Mike Chapman answered questions following a shooting at the Sterling Costco.
Updated: 8:11 p.m. May 29

Authorities have identified the woman killed at the Sterling Costco.

According to Liz Mills, spokesperson for the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office, Mhai Scott, 38, of Sterling, was shot by a deputy after she wielding a knife while inside the store.

The deputy who shot Scott fired multiple rounds during the incident, Mills said.

Original story:

With one woman dead and a deputy injured, the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office is now investigating the circumstances surrounding an incident at the Sterling Costco.

At approximately 3 p.m. May 29, two deputies arrived at Price Cascades Plaza near the intersection of Route 7 and Cascades Parkway. Emergency services had received a call saying a woman, a Customer Services Demonstration provider, was creating a disturbance at the Costco. According to law enforcement, she had pulled a knife in the store and was acting erratically.

When confronted by deputies, the unnamed woman began approaching them while still holding the knife. An attempt to restrain the woman using a taser was ineffective, possibly being caught in a pocket of clothing instead of making contact with her skin. One of the deputies opened fire after it became apparent that the taser didn't work.

The woman with the knife was killed by police fire. Her identity has been not been released, pending family notification.

"It’s a very unfortunate situation for everybody. I just want to make sure our deputies are safe and everything gets investigated properly," said Loudoun County Sheriff Mike Chapman at a press conference following the shooting. "Ultimately we’ve got to go through and interview all the witnesses … I don’t want to speculate on minuscule details at this time."

One of the deputies was injured in the leg during the shooting, possibly by a ricochet. This injury was not life threatening.

Witnesses described at least five shots being fired.

Robert Krause of Ashburn was at the front of the store when the conflict occured, "This kind of thing doesn’t normally happen here. I didn’t want to be a hero so I got out of there. Half the store was running out too."

This is a developing story. Check back to LoudounTimes.com for more information as it becomes available.


fedupdude, I think the first paragraph of your response to me made my point.  No, I do not want to confront someone with a knife, but I’m not a trained police offer who willingly entered into the job and supposedly completed a training program in how to handle all types of threats to public (and their own) safety.  I’m hopeful this training didn’t explain that cops should kill everyone who confronts them with weapons, especially when the knife wielder is one small woman pitted against a group of police officers.  If women who are trained in self-defense are taught to carry and use pepper spray, why do cops just get to shoot and kill people?  This is illogical.  As far as your argument about the 58 year old woman stabbing her husband, I’d be willing to bet he wasn’t surrounded by a group of police officers at the time.  If he was, she should have been subdued and her husband should have been unharmed.  Perhaps her husband was threatening her in some manner.  Interesting that, in this case, since she’s a civilian and not a cop, she becomes the perpetrator of the crime and he becomes the victim.  Yet, you have a group of police officers and one small woman but it’s okay for them to kill her.

JParrish - If you are willing to do hand to hand with a person with a knife maybe you should sign up instead of criticism the cops for taking the route of safety in shooting the armed person.

Also lets for a minute stop acting like a persons age or size makes them less of a threat, that is just stupid. A 58 year old just stabbed her husband to death in an argument in this county.

Also lets stop acting like knives are nothing, people all over this nation want to see assault weapons banned and knives kill 3-4 times as many people as assault rifles, rifles, and shotguns combined each year.

It sucks that the woman was either mental or suicidal but the cops are not at fault for her advancing on them with a deadly weapon.

The last I checked, these officers were not forced to become cops.  They have career choices just like the rest of us. They know the pay going in, and they accept the risk (not that there is much of that in Loudoun County, unless you count teens smoking weed.  Something of the nature of the Costco incident is incredibly rare in Loudoun).  My daughter is a teacher and accepts the fact she will never be wealthy as a result of her career choice. What makes this situation more serious is that cops don’t get paid much for putting themselves in danger.  It’s part of the job, but it’s their choice.  Choosing a dangerous low paying job then shooting someone who should not have been killed to begin with doesn’t make them heroes.

Just a few words.  LCSO - Thank You.

To those bleating away about how it’s so terrible they didn’t risk their lives to tackle a mere woman with a knife - You clearly have NO idea just how dangerous a lone person with a knife can be.

Go back to munching on the grass.

Whatever happened to those beanbag guns? Seems like this would have been a decent opportunity to use one of them.

Hat Contest!
Who wears it better?  Trooper or Eugene?
Vote now.

Fionnuala - The taser is the step before using a firearm.

Joe_75 - The night stick has been replaced with the taser which was used in this case.

To the people making comments about throwing cans of beans and potted meat at the suspect with the knife, know nothing about police work and the 21 foot rule with knives.  The police did there job correctly.  Make sure you don’t call the police if you need there assistance, since you feel they don’t satisfy your requirements on police science.

You leftist are the ones who need some training. If your non-lethal tools fail and a person with a knife is coming at you, what is your alternative? Shoot them with your firearm or get into hand to hand combat?  Least we forget, officers don’t wear head and neck protection. A knife can be plunged into your throat, eyes, mouth, etc. 

Fight somebody with a knife using your bare hands or use your weapon?  Seems pretty obvious to me and the officers too.

Wow two policemen with tasers/guns vs one woman w knife? They should have called for more backups :) Beat her down w a stick if you must but shoot her dead?

Having Eugene Delgaudio photobombing sets the tone for this embarrassment to Loudoun.  Two well-armed, trained deputies, likely wearing protective vests, can’t figure out a way to subdue this woman short of firing 5 shots in a public space?

As others have said… one wonders if lethal force was truly necessary here. Especially given the fact that they initially determined using the taser on her was appropriate.  Quite a jump from tasering to shooting at least five shots.

@EdMyers, you can’t be serious with that logic.  Lets see you strap up with LCSO, don’t bring a gun or anything to this situation, and lets see how that can of produce works out for you.

EdMyers - The cops used a taser first it either failed or she was on something that let her shake off the effects. The Sheriffs did everything right.

Moral of the story don’t attack cops with a knife, and it might be she was on drugs if so second moral don’t do drugs.

“No one was injured by the alleged perpetrator’s knife.”  And thank God, now no one ever will be injured by her.  Great job LCSO, another wacko we don’t have to worry about.

The WOMAN had a knife, sounds like she was one of those demonstrators that give you out a sample of this or that. I DON’T want to ASSume, but most the people that I have seen that do that are retired like older women.  I’m thinking that a group of police officers could have surrounded her and managed 2 use their brut strength and billy club to knock the knife out of her hands.  I personally think that the shooting was a bit extreme, I wasn’t there I don’t know ALL the facts but what I’m hearing & seeing is ONE Woman, One Knife. She advanced on them but didn’t have a gun it wasn’t a gun battle, knife verses gun, Hmm I would much rather be the one with the gun but as a woman myself I would have rushed her with my billy club as my shield!

@Frank Grimes: Let’s see how you react when an unstable person comes at you with a knife. This is not the movies Frank, this is real life, with real blades that can do real damage. Does a vest protect your arms, legs, groin, neck, etc from a knife?

No. As far as I am concerned, as soon as someone goes after law enforcement with a weapon—any weapon—they just signed their own death certificate. It sounds the deputies did their job: tried to deescalate the situation and used non-lethal force and then used lethal force when it was necessary. Of course all this happens in a matter of seconds. Decision time is down to micro-seconds, unlike the minutes and hours you’ve had to think this over and construct your response Frank.

Get with the real world, Frank. Stop living in fantasy land. Good job LCSO. Good shoot. One less piece of garbage on the streets for the rest of us to have to deal with.

No one except the LCSO will ever see the surveillance video from the store.

grimes, you have no idea of what happened and are obviously an ignorant cop hater who needs to have something bad occur until you realize the reality of life. there are good and bad people in any profession and justification for the shooting will be presented shortly. loco, I don’t disagree with you, but you are failing to talk about overtime pay, which can add up to a significant amount of money (especially for DC, it’s a racket to collar someone at the end of your shift). plus, many live very local and some get housing allowances/offsets, free coffee and donuts, use of vehicle to and from work and other perks. I am salaried and have worked many 80 hour weeks without extra pay and don’t complain about it until now. nobody forces anyone to take a job, so if base salary is the only benefit, I suggest an alternate profession. anyone provide feedback on the deceased and any emotional or medical ills?

With the facts that are presented it hints at the need for better non-lethal police responses.  A police with protective gear shouldn’t fear mortal danger because someone is waving a knife around and have to shoot to protect themselves. (If the vests don’t protect against knives they need better equipment.) 

Firing guns in self defense was a real danger—one person was killed and another injured all from police bullets. Many people likely were slightly injured in the stampede to get out of the store (and there was a risk of serious injury and death from the stampede.) No one was injured by the alleged perpetrator’s knife. The actual outcome is much worse than any imagined worse-case scenario of an agitated homicidal woman with a knife.  My first thought would have been to back slowly away and throw cans of produce if the woman followed.

I hope there is more evidence than presented here that people were in imminent danger of death to justify this killing. Some medical emergencies cause people to act irrationally, but that is no excuse to kill them.

I wouldnt say they risked life and limb with a woman with a knife and scissors handing out samples at Costco.

You want to pay the LCSO or teachers more- vote out every one of the current Board of Supervisors.

And who responded to the scene - LCSO.
Who risked life and limb - LCSO.
Who will investigate - LCSO.
What is the richest County in America - Loudoun.

What is the lowest paid police force in NOVA - LCSO…..

Good job on scene guys.  But at some point come join your brothers in Montgomery and Fairfax and be paid for the risks you take.

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