A Loudoun County sheriff’s deputy shot and killed a woman who came at him with a knife at a busy Costco in Sterling on Wednesday afternoon, authorities said, causing confused and frightened shoppers and employees to duck behind cash registers and rush out of the store.
Two deputies went to the store to check a report of a disorderly person and used a Taser to try to subdue the woman, Loudoun Sheriff Michael Chapman said. But the woman kept advancing, so one of the deputies fired at her and killed her, the sheriff said. The second deputy was wounded, possibly when a bullet ricocheted and hit his leg. He is expected to recover.
Sheriff’s officials identified the woman as Mhai Scott, 38, who lived near Dulles Town Center and worked for Club Demonstration Services, which provides services to Costco.
Renee Haber, a manager at the store, near the busy intersection of Cascades Parkway and Route 7, said Scott, who was involved in food preparation, became agitated and began to act erratically as her shift was ending. She said Scott, who had been serving pizza, began saying “crazy things” and seemed concerned about the number of servings in a pizza box.
As Scott was moving away from her serving station, Haber said, she grabbed a knife from another station and was making “strange movements.”
“She was frightening her supervisor,” Haber said. Haber said workers called police.
The first deputies arrived at the store just after 3 p.m., Chapman said. When they encountered Scott near the rear of the store, she was armed with a knife and might also have had scissors, he said.
“Preliminary indications are that she came at the deputies with a knife,” Chapman said. Sheriff’s officials said in a prepared statement Wednesday night that Scott ignored orders to drop the weapon.
“It’s a tragic situation,” the sheriff said. “I feel for everybody involved.”