Fil Am Gunned Down By Sheriff’s Deputies

CHICAGO (FAXX/jGLi) – A Filipino American employee of a company affiliated with Costco, a discount superstore chain, was shot and killed by two sheriff’s deputies of Loudoun County in Sterling, Virginia on Wednesday, May 29, afternoon inside Costco, according Filipino American human rights lawyer and Migrant Heritage Commission (MHC) co-executive director, Arnedo Valera.

Mylene de Leon Scott, 38, of Dulles Town Center, reportedly a food server of the Club Demonstration Services, which provides services to Costco, was said to be behaving strangely, and threatened her supervisor and was making remarks about a pizza and armed with a knife or a pair of scissors when she was gunned down.

According to Washington Post, the two deputies went to the store to check a report of a disorderly person and used a Taser to try to subdue Scott. But Scott kept advancing, so one of the deputies fired at her and killed her. The second deputy was wounded, possibly when a bullet ricocheted and hit his leg. He is expected to recover.

Preliminary reports said that Scott “came at the deputies with a knife” and “ignored orders to drop the weapon.”

Between four and five shots were heard that caused Costco customers to scamper for safety.

Valera, of Fairfax, Virginia, said, “There was an apparent use of excessive and unnecessary force to repel an impending crime that does not truly constitute a clear and present danger against anyone at the moment she was shot. This has to be thoroughly investigated.

“The victim only had a knife or a pair of scissors, and what could have been done to quell an impending attack would just be to hit her in non-fatal parts of the body.”

The MHC has expressed sympathy to the family of Scott and is contacting members of the family of the victim in order to provide free legal services to them, through the MHC Legal Resources Program.

“We are now in the process of contacting immediate family members of the deceased to extend whatever support we can give to them in this difficult times,” MHC co-executive director Grace Valera said.

MHC co-executive director Jesse Gatchalian, for his part, said it was hard to believe the deputies had to shot and kill her, when there was no actual and impending threat to life.

“There seems to be a showing that the Deputies of Loudoun County were not properly trained to deal with this type of situation,” said Gatchalian.

Valera emphasized the unfortunate killing of Scott has to be investigated.  He said this could be another case of wrongful death, like the limousine fire on San Mateo Bridge in Redwood City in California, which claimed the lives of five nurses on their way to a bridal shower.

“We call on the Fil-Am community and the immigrant community in general to lend moral support in demanding an objective investigation of this tragic incident so that justice can be achieved,” Valera said.

Meanwhile, the Philippine Embassy Thursday also called for a thorough, impartial and expeditious investigation into the fatal shooting of Scott by deputies.

In a statement, the Embassy also extended its deepest sympathy to the family of Mylene De Leon Scott, of Sterling, Virginia, who was shot dead by police officers responding to a reported disturbance involving Ms. Scott inside the Costco Wholesale Store at the Price Cascades Plaza also in Sterling.

“We request authorities to conduct a thorough, impartial and expeditious investigation of the incident,” Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia Jr. said in a statement, adding that the Embassy “shares the concerns expressed by Ms. Scott’s family in the Philippines and the members of the Filipino-American Community that law enforcement officials may have responded with disproportionate force.”

The Embassy, quoting a statement released by the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office, said Scott allegedly refused to heed repeated orders from two responding police officers for her to drop a knife and a pair of scissors that she was supposedly using to threaten store employees with.

The statement said that when Scott moved towards the two officers, a Taser electroshock device was used in an attempt to immobilize her but the weapon supposedly failed to deploy.  It was at this point that one of the officers fired multiple shots at her. Scott died at the scene while one of the officers sustained a bullet wound but was later released from the hospital.   

“The Embassy stands ready to extend its assistance to the family of Ms. Scott,” Ambassador Cuisia said. “We will continue to coordinate with police authorities in Loudoun County to secure more information on this case.”

Ambassador Cuisia said that as soon as it was informed of the incident on Thursday morning, the Embassy reached out to Scott’s next of kin to extend its condolences and to offer its assistance.

The Embassy also immediately contacted the Loudoun County Sheriff’s office to request additional information on the incident. ([email protected])

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