The Las Vegas police officer who shot an unarmed man in October after mistaking him for a murder suspect was cleared of any criminal wrongdoing by prosecutors on Wednesday.
Metro officer Jason Evans, 30, will not face charges for shooting Antoine Hodges, 30, about 10:30 p.m. on Oct. 21 in a 7-Eleven near Nellis Boulevard and Stewart Avenue, according to the Clark County district attorney’s office.
“Mr. Hodges backed away from the officer, ignored his commands and reached behind his back. Fearing for his life and the safety of others in the 7-Eleven, the officer fired a single shot,” District Attorney Steve Wolfson said in a statement. “Mr. Hodges was struck in the abdomen. Thankfully, this was a non-life threatening injury.”
Authorities said Hodges, who police later said was not a suspect in the killings the previous night, backed away because he was concealing a bag of marijuana. Police later released surveillance video of the incident.
Police haven’t arrested anyone in the killings.
According to the report, Metro allowed Evans and his union attorney, former DA David Roger, to view the videos from 7-Eleven prior to the interview against the advice of prosecutors, who felt Evans’ statement could have been influenced by seeing the video ahead of time.
But prosecutors felt they could evaluate the shooting without relying on Evans’ statement because of the significant other evidence, including the video, police radio traffic and witness statements.
Contact reporter Mike Blasky at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @blasky on Twitter.