The man who was shot multiple times this week while fleeing from a Las Vegas police officer in the northwest valley is Raymond J. Duensing, police said Friday.
Police said an officer shot Duensing several times Thursday afternoon in the arm and torso after a Taser failed to subdue him and he reached toward his front pocket for a .45-caliber handgun.
The shooting occurred after what police said was a routine traffic stop.
Police said in a release that Duensing is 31, but records from the Clark County jail, where he was booked in absentia, indicate his age is 33.
A Las Vegas lawyer by the same name and approximate age of the suspect unsuccessfully ran for Congress on the Libertarian ticket against Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-Nev., in 2008.
Neither the Metropolitan Police Department nor Libertarian Party officials were able to say Friday evening whether the man shot by police is in fact the lawyer and Libertarian.
Duensing was listed in critical condition at University Medical Center on Friday night. He is expected to survive, according to police.
The shooting occurred about 2:25 p.m. Thursday near Cheyenne Avenue and Jones Boulevard.
Police Capt. Randy Montandon said a patrol officer saw the driver of a Silver Pontiac rental car make an illegal turn and then several illegal lane changes.
He said the officer pulled the man over on Cheyenne near Michael Way. The situation escalated when the officer did a records check and discovered the man was the subject of an outstanding warrant for misdemeanor violations.
Montandon said the man became combative when the officer asked him to get out of his car. The suspect fled west on Cheyenne and the officer tried to use a Taser on him.
"As the officer was chasing the individual giving him orders to stop, the individual reached into his pants pocket, front right, and retrieved what appears to be a .45-caliber handgun," Montandon said.
Montandon said the officer saw the suspect try to pull out a "large folding knife."
But a witness disputed some of the police account of the shooting. Brandi Burks, 19, said she was standing outside her apartment complex on Cheyenne, west of the Michael Way intersection, when the shooting occurred.
Motorcycle officers had been patrolling the street heavily, pulling over speeders, she said.
She said the officer who pulled over the man chased him when he fled.
Burks said that as the man was running, he kept grabbing his pants, as if to hold them up. She said she did not see a gun and did not see the officer fire a Taser.
She said she saw the officer shoot the man in the back when the man reached the sidewalk. He went down, and officers handcuffed him, she said.
"They shot him in the back," she said. "He was just running."
Police Department policy allows the use of deadly force based on the severity of the crime, whether the suspect is a threat to the officer or others and whether the suspect is actively resisting arrest or trying to avoid arrest by fleeing.
When a suspect dies at the hands of police, a jury is convened at a coroner's inquest to determine whether the shooting was justifiable, excusable or criminal.
Police spokesman Jacinto Rivera said the department is continuing its investigation into the shooting.
The name of the officer who fired his weapon will be released 48 hours after the shooting, according to department policy.
He or she has been placed on paid administrative leave.
If the investigation doesn't go to an inquest, Rivera said, the internal investigation will be complete and fair.
"The biggest thing we're looking for is to make sure it was appropriate use of force," Rivera said.
Allen Lichtenstein, general counsel of the American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada, said those who survive police shootings are able to speak for themselves, unlike coroner's inquests conducted when someone dies.
The ACLU has been a frequent critic of the coroner's inquest process.
Lichtenstein said if police investigate the shooting internally, he hopes the results of the investigation are released to the public. He said the investigation has to be transparent.
"We hope this investigation is done thoroughly and without bias," he said.
Contact reporter Antonio Planas at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-4638.