Woman Handing Out Samples at Va. Costco Shot Dead by Police After Acting Strangely

Police tried to subdue her with stun gun, then shot her

A Sterling, Va. Costco will resume normal business hours Thursday, just a day after sheriff’s deputies fatally shot a woman who came at officers with scissors and a knife.

The melee began at about 3 p.m. Wednesday, when store employees noticed the woman, who was handing out pizza samples, acting oddly at the Costco in Sterling, Loudoun County Sheriff Mike Chapman said.

The woman has been identified as 38-year-old Mhai Scott of Sterling.

Witnesses said she seemed upset about the pizza she was handing out and was waving a knife and scissors, threatening employees.

Deputies were called to the store to handle the disturbance.

After they arrived, the woman — who works for a company that does sampling at Costco stores — came at the officers with a knife and scissors.

One officer tried to use a stun gun on Scott, but Chapman said the stun gun “did not work” and one of the deputies fatally shot her.

A sheriff’s deputy also was wounded in the leg, possibly by a ricochet. He is expected to be okay.

Chapman said the only shots fired were by one of the deputies.

Nora Lateef said she was at the food court when she saw three deputies rush into the store and head toward the employee lounge, asking, “Where is Linda?”

Soon, Lateef said, she heard five shots and the store was evacuated. They were saying “everybody out of the store! Out of the store!” Lateef said.

Shopper Elizabeth Avelar told News4 she believes she had contact with Scott prior to the shooting.

“The woman was very nice, very polite,” Avelar said.

Avelar was later herded out of the store following the incident.

“I had no idea whether somebody was being shot, if there was a bomb threat,” Avelar said. “It was very difficult to get out of the parking lot — people were honking their horns. It was frightening.”

The Costco Warehouse Store is located at 21398 Price Cascades Plaza in Loudoun County, Va. It will open at 10 a.m. Thursday.

Chapman said Scott was an employee of Club Demonstration Services, Inc., a Costco subcontractor.

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