DA: Police cleared in fatal gunbattle

Two Las Vegas police officers were cleared of wrong doing in the fatal shooting of Roberto Torres on Feb. 8, a review by the Clark County District Attorney’s office found.

“Mr. Torres shot his pregnant girlfriend in the head just two days prior to his death,” District Attorney Steve Wolfson said in a statement Friday. “As a result, a felony arrest warrant was issued for Mr. Torres for the crimes of attempted murder with use of a deadly weapon and battery domestic violence. When officers attempted to arrest him, Mr. Torres pulled a handgun and fired at the officers, threatening the lives of the officers and the innocent citizens nearby.”

On Feb. 6, two days before police shot and killed Torres, the shot his pregnant girlfriend in the head while she slept on the couch, homicide detective Clifford Mogg said at the Police Fatality Public Fact-Finding Review in November.

The girlfriend, who was not identified, was shot by Torres with a .25 caliber pistol.

The bullet did not penetrate her skull due to the low caliber of the gun, but she suffered several burns from stippling, or burns caused by gunpowder touching the skin.

She told police that Torres, an ex-felon and Los Angeles gang member, had been acting paranoid in the weeks leading up to the shooting, saying that he began to hear voices in the walls and mirrors, and thought that people were going to come through their attic and air conditioning vents.

On Feb. 8, officers saw Torres leave the apartment in the 4000 block of Pennwood Avenue. He approached a man and a woman near a dark blue Honda Accord. Police did not know who the two other people were initially, and the plan was to take all three into custody and sort it out afterward, Mogg said.

The man and woman, who were not identified by police during the review, were trying to sell the car to Torres after he responded to an ad on Craigslist.

Officers Joseph Parra and Scott Thomas moved in on the car where Torres and the others were talking.

They commanded all three to get down and put their hands up.

That’s when Torres reached for his pistol and fired it.

Parra fired a single shot from his .40 caliber Heckler and Koch pistol and Thomas fired six rounds from his 9 mm Sig Sauer. Torres was shot three times. A .25 caliber casing was found next to where he fell.

The female bystander suffered a grazing wound to her left ankle from the gunfire while the other man was struck in the shoulder. The bullet lodged near his spine.

An autopsy confirmed Torres had methamphetamine in his blood at the time of the shooting.

Contact reporter Steven Slivka at sslivka@reviewjournal.com. Follow @StevenSlivka on Twitter.


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