The officers involved in a 23-hour SWAT standoff with a woman in the southeast valley last week were identified Wednesday.
SWAT officer James Bertuccini shot 29-year-old Sara Jones in the face just moments after Jones shot officer Kevin McCord in the leg, Las Vegas police said. Veteran officer Chuck Collingwood was struck by debris from bullet fragments.
The shooting occured after Jones held her two young children hostage with a .45-caliber handgun in a home at 4516 Newton Drive, near Tropicana Avenue and Mountain Vista Street. She told police several times during the negotiation that she would shoot her children, according to her arrest report.
Undersheriff Jim Dixon said police were hoping for a peaceful resolution, but were forced to enter the home after Jones fired a shot into the ceiling nearly 23 hours into the standoff, which began Aug. 26 and ended the following night. The standoff lasted so long that Las Vegas police SWAT officers were temporarily relieved by Henderson SWAT officers and the FBI, he said.
Jones had argued with her husband the previous day and locked herself inside with a gun. Her husband and the couple’s 10-year-old daughter left the home as police arrived, but two young children remained inside.
After officers entered the home, Jones fired through a bedroom. McCord was struck in the shin, but protected by his gear. Dixon said McCord was a “tough officer” who was treated at the scene and already back to work.
The officers went to the bedroom and found the 2-year-old child safe on the bed, but Jones had locked herself inside a bathroom. Officers broke into the bathroom and saw Jones pointing the gun at her 1-year-old child, Dixon said.
Bertuccini shot Jones in the right side of the face. Jones was hospitalized and will survive the shooting, Dixon said.
She was booked on charges of attempted murder on a police officer, kidnapping, child neglect, resisting a public officer with a firearm and assault with a deadly weapon, Dixon said. It’s unclear if Jones had a criminal record or a history of mental illness.
“Obviously things were unstable this evening,” he said.
The children were unharmed and will be returned to their father, Dixon said.
Bertuccini remains on paid admininstrative leave pending decisions from the Clark County District Attorney’s office and the department’s internal critical incident review team.
Contact reporter Mike Blasky at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-0283. Follow @blasky on Twitter.