Trending Topics

Calif. man shot by off-duty CO outside Costco charged

Gary Harlan Scott is accused of taking a knife and threatening employees and patrons with it on July 28


By Erin Tracy
The Modesto Bee

MODESTO, Calif. The man shot by an off-duty correctional officer at the Modesto Costco last month is scheduled to return to court next week on charges of assault with a deadly weapon and robbery.

Gary Harlan Scott, 61, is accused of taking a knife that was being sold at the Costco on Pelandale Avenue and threatening employees and patrons with it on July 28.

Scott was charged with two counts with assault with a deadly weapon and one count of robbery upon his release from the hospital on Aug. 8.

Off-duty correctional officer Kevin Machado, who was shopping at the store, shot Scott after he lunged at him several times with the knife, according to court documents.

Scott’s sister, Suzanne Perez, said Scott had been suffering from depression and memory loss as a result of a recent diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis.

She said he spent all but four days of July at Doctors Behavioral Health Center in Modesto and was released the day of the shooting despite expressing suicidal thoughts.

Perez went to pick Scott up from DBHC and take him to a neurologist but he refused to go with her and instead got on a bus. Perez called police but Scott was gone by the time they arrived.

Two hours later, Modesto Police were called to the Costco for a report that “Scott was inside acting bizarre, pacing, and wielding a knife,” according to an affidavit in support of holding Scott on a bail higher than the scheduled amount.

Costco employees evacuated the store and moved Scott out of the store “by making a human perimeter with shopping carts and other objects,” according to the affidavit.

Machado approached Scott outside the store, drew a concealed pistol, identified himself and ordered Scott to drop the knife.

Scott jabbed the knife in an outward motion at Machado and lunged at him several times and continued to pursue him as he backed away, according to the affidavit.

When Scott got within five to eight feet of Machado, he fired. Scott was hit once and fell the ground. A Costco employee kicked the knife away from him.

Machado has worked as a correctional officer at Deuel Vocational Institution in Tracy since December, said California Department of Corrections and Rebabilitation spokeswoman Terry Thornton. He was placed on paid administrative leave for three days following the shooing and returned to work Aug. 2.

“The officer is cooperating with the Modesto Police Department’s ongoing investigation,” Thornton said.

Modesto Police Detective John McGill asked for a $1 million bail for Scott.

“The situation brought panic to the general public,” McGill wrote in the affidavit. “It is my belief if Scott were to be released there would be a strong likelihood of reoccurrence of the crime of the crime, placing the general public, law enforcement, as well as Scott himself at great risk.”

The judge raised Scott’s bail above the scheduled amount, but to $500,000.

Scott is scheduled to be back in court on Wednesday.