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Man Shot After Wielding Samurai Sword

Port Jefferson, New York – A man was shot and killed after swinging a samurai sword with a two foot blade around inside a local liquor store.

According to the Suffolk County Police Department, officers were dispatched to a report of a shooting at around 2:30 p.m.

When police arrived, they learned 50-year-old Theodore Scoville had entered Port Jeff Liquors on 156 E. Main St. with a samurai sword. Scoville began to swing the sword around inside the shop, endangering the store’s owner.

Suffolk County Police Department spokesman Detective Lieutenant Kevin Beyrer told ABC7:

“He had a sword beneath a poncho, it seems to be without saying a word, he pulled the sword out, swung it three times — at least three times — at a very close distance to the person behind the counter.”

The unidentified owner then drew a firearm and fired, striking Scoville who was pronounced dead at the scene.

According to Patch, Kathianne Mirras Snaden, a Port Jefferson Village trustee, said about the incident:

“It appears that an emotionally unstable person entered a local business here in our village with a weapon. His actions posed an eminent threat to the merchant, who, regrettably, was forced to shoot the individual in defense of himself.”

During the investigation, police pulled surveillance video footage of the shooting which corroborated the Port Jeff Liquor Store owner’s statement of events. He is not being charged with a crime at this time as the weapon used was legal and he justifiably feared for his life.

Law enforcement officials say the shooting is still under investigation, but it is unclear at this time what the motive behind Scoville’s actions was as it did not appear to be a robbery or the result of some dispute.


Many concealed carriers have heard of the “21-foot-rule” regarding the amount of distance where a knife can be considered a lethal threat. This is more of a guideline then it is a “rule” as it depends on several factors.

One factor which could complicate this is the size of the blade being wielded by an attacker. It is conceivable that a large sword like the one used by Scoville could drastically reduce the amount of time needed to appropriately respond to the threat.

Force on force training puts students into life-like scenarios and gives them a chance to see what a situation like the one above could feel like in a safe training environment. Read here for an article on the benefits of force on force training.

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