Knife-wielding man killed by police identified


"He's going to kill me!" shouted the man with the knife, who raced back and forth through Winnie Ellis' living room in a dazed panic Tuesday night.

"He was yelling and screaming, 'He's got a gun, he's after me,'  " Ellis, 60, recalled Wednesday morning at her southeast valley home, the site of the first fatal officer-involved shooting of 2011 for the Metropolitan Police Department.

Ellis said the man with the knife -- she didn't see the weapon, but her husband did -- barged through their unlocked front door, ran past her son and locked himself in a bathroom adjoining the master bedroom.

The man, later identified as Tory Manvilla, 49, never threatened anyone, Ellis said. As far as she could tell, no one was chasing him, but he wouldn't calm down.

"We tried to talk to him, but he wouldn't listen to reason or comprehend what we were saying. He looked like he was on drugs."

She called 911.

Las Vegas police were on the scene almost immediately, she said. The first arriving officer evacuated the family, corralled them on the street and asked a series of rapid-fire questions. Her husband, Bruce, told police where they could find a spare key to the bathroom.

More officers arrived, and Ellis said at least 20 officers packed into their one-story, 1,200 square-foot home.

She didn't remember how long police were inside, but after awhile, officers began filing out. She asked one officer if the man was OK.

"He's deceased," the officer told her.

"I never heard the shots. I was very upset," a shaken Ellis said. "I said, 'Why did you shoot him? He just needed some help!'  "

Las Vegas police said two officers shot Manvilla. He was transported to Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

According to police, each officer fired one shot after Manvilla charged the officers from the bathroom at a home at 4786 Fairfax Ave., near Mountain Vista Street and Tropicana Avenue.

Manvilla was given "multiple commands to exit the bathroom and surrender," police said in a report released Wednesday evening. "As the officers continued to speak to the suspect, he abruptly opened the door with the knife raised above his head, and moved aggressively towards the officers."

Both officers involved with the shooting have been placed on routine paid administrative leave.

They will be identified 48 hours after the shooting, per department policy.

Police first received a call about a "person with a knife" about 8:45 p.m. on Tuesday from a Fairfax Avenue residence a few homes south of the shooting.

Jose Ramirez was the person who made that call.

Ramirez, 40, said he and his brother were drinking coffee in their living room when they heard a noise outside.

A man with a kitchen knife, who appeared to be in his 30s or 40s, was trying to get inside the home. The man was scared, Ramirez recalled.

"He wasn't trying to hurt us. He wanted to get inside, for protection. He kept saying, 'I didn't do it, I didn't do it,' and that somebody wanted to hurt him."

Ramirez and his brother pushed the man out of the doorway.

Because Manvilla seemed harmless, Ramirez said he debated letting him inside, although he had never seen him before. But because Manvilla had a weapon, and Ramirez had four children at home, he decided against it.

Manvilla didn't leave the driveway immediately. He hid between Ramirez's metal security door and the front door for at least 10 minutes, looking over his shoulder and shouting wildly, he said.

Occasionally, Manvilla would act as if someone was in Ramirez's backyard, or right next to him.

"That's when I realized he needed help," he said. "There was no one in the backyard. No one was around him."

Ramirez told Manvilla he was going to call police. To his surprise, Manvilla agreed and asked him to call 911.

After some time, he bolted down the street and headed north, where Ramirez saw him disappear into the Ellis driveway. A police cruiser appeared shortly after, and Ramirez pointed the car toward the home.

Ramirez didn't learn Manvilla had died until police detectives interviewed him later. He saw the ambulance arrive, but assumed he had hurt himself with the knife. Ramirez said he didn't know what happened inside the Ellis home, but wished he would have done something different.

"Sometimes I feel pretty guilty that I called police," he said. "He needed help, not to be shot."

The Manvilla shooting is the second officer-involved shooting of 2011 for Las Vegas police. The first occurred Jan. 12 at Shelter Islands Apartments on Swenson Street at Twain Avenue. Sgt. Darrin Densley, a 22-year police veteran, fired on Leonard Greer, 22, who was in an Oldsmobile Bravada sport utility vehicle.

Greer had refused to exit his vehicle. The officer demanded some proof that he lived there, and Greer said he had a rent receipt and would get it out of his pocket.

With his left hand on the steering wheel, Greer said he used his right hand to pull it out of his pocket. He then put his right hand, clutching the receipt, back on the steering wheel. That's when the officer fired. Densley was placed on routine paid administrative leave after the shooting.

Ellis said police were in her home until about 3 a.m. Wednesday. A hazardous materials team cleaned her bedroom carpet, but she decided to sleep on the couch instead.

"I couldn't go in there," she said.

Ellis expects she will get over the shooting eventually, but her thoughts go back to Manvilla, who she didn't think was a criminal.

"I just felt so sorry for the guy. He might have attacked the police. I wasn't there. I just wished they could have helped him."

Contact reporter Mike Blasky at mblasky@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0283.

 

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