Man killed in police shootout was ex-felon


The man who died in a shootout with Las Vegas police officers Tuesday served more than 13 years in Nevada prisons for a second-degree murder charge in the 1990s.

Within months of his release, he stopped reporting to his parole officer.

Authorities said Friday that David Paul Gonzalez, 32, did not serve the maximum 25-year sentence he was handed in 1997, but he did serve more than the 10-year minimum.

He was released from the High Desert State Prison on Dec. 1, and his parole officer reported him "absconded" on March 15.

A warrant was issued for his arrest, and Metropolitan Police Department spokesman Jacinto Rivera said Gonzalez also would have faced a charge for being an ex-felon in possession of a firearm had he survived. Gonzalez instead fired at officers after they disabled his car. Officer Patrick Burke, 45, returned fire, hitting him several times.

Rivera said Friday that detectives have not linked Gonzalez to any other crimes committed since his release from prison, but the investigation is ongoing.

Gonzalez, who was severely hearing impaired, used sign language to confess to murdering a man in September, 1996, according to police reports at the time. He was 18 and was drinking at a girl's 15th birthday party. He was jealous ---- a 20-year-old was dancing with his girlfriend.

The two men took their dispute to a parking lot behind the Stratosphere. Punches were exchanged. Someone handed Gonzalez a butterfly knife, and he stabbed his opponent, Jose Ramos, several times in the back. Ramos died at a hospital.

Burke and another officer in a patrol car tried to stop Gonzalez's car after seeing it speeding and weaving on Flamingo Road near Swenson Street just after 8 p.m. Tuesday.

Burke and the other officer performed a Pursuit Intervention Technique, hitting the car to spin and disable it.

When the chase ended in front of a Speedee Mart east of Swenson, Gonzalez got out of his vehicle, which was pinned against the police car, and fired once at the officers, police said.

He ran a short distance, turned and fired a second time, they said.

Burke returned fire, striking Gonzalez several times.

He was hit in the arm and chest, according to the Clark County coroner's office.

At least one shot hit a car in the area, police said. It was unclear who fired that shot.

The officers were not injured.

Contact reporter Lawrence Mower at lmower@review journal.com or 702-383-0440. Contact reporter Mike Blasky at mblasky@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0283.

 

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