Las Vegas police shot and killed a woman who they said opened fire on them Thursday morning after she was stopped while driving a stolen car.
About 8:30 a.m., an undercover detective saw a car driving erratically on Desert Inn Road where it passes over Interstate 15, checked the California plates and learned it was stolen, Capt. Matt McCarthy of Metro's Office of Internal Oversight said during an afternoon briefing. McCarthy gave a statement but did not take questions from reporters.
The detective called for patrol officers, who tried to stop the car near Desert Inn Road and Rainbow Boulevard. But the woman fled, McCarthy said. Police cars did not pursue her, but a Metro helicopter tracked the car. Another patrol officer spotted the car about a mile east on Desert Inn Road near Jones Boulevard.
McCarthy said the officer could see the woman, who was in the car alone, waving a gun in the air.
She then pulled into a Chinatown strip mall parking lot on Jones Boulevard between between Spring Mountain and Desert Inn roads, police said. Because the woman was armed, police quickly blocked the road and called for a SWAT team.
SWAT officers and crisis negotiators came to the scene and pinned the car between two BearCat armored vehicles. The hood of the white sedan was crunched.
As the BearCats approached, McCarthy said, the woman fired at the SWAT officers, who fired back.
Bullet holes could later be seen in the windshield of the white sedan the woman was driving. One of the BearCats had a small break in its windshield.
Police did not say how many shots the officers or the woman fired.
She was pronounced dead in the parking lot, and police said they were still trying to find out more about her Thursday afternoon. Her identity will be released by the Clark County coroner's office after her family has been notified.
Metro kept Jones Boulevard closed for hours in both directions. The department announced on social media at 7 p.m. that it had reopened.
About a dozen employees and patrons at the Mountain View Plaza strip mall said they didn't see or hear anything. Many of the businesses there, including Chada Thai and Wine and District One Kitchen & Bar, are restaurants that weren't open at the time of the shooting, which happened closest to Karaoke Q Studio bar.
This was Metro's 11th police shooting this year. By policy, Las Vegas police release the names of any officers involved after 48 hours.
Review-Journal writer writer Wesley Juhl and photographer Erik Verduzco contributed to this report.
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