Nearly a year after the Henderson Police Department’s only officer-involved shooting of 2013, Edward Scheboth Jr.’s motives for firing at police officers before being killed is still a relative unknown.
Neighbors described Scheboth, 63, as a recluse and family members told police they had lost complete contact with him 13 years ago, Henderson Police Detective Chad Mitchell said during Clark County’s fact-finding review of the fatal shooting. The hearing included dash cam video, recordings of police dispatch calls and drawings.
On Friday, Mitchell, a Henderson homicide detective who investigated the officer-involved shooting, detailed the intense exchange that eventually led to Scheboth’s death.
Scheboth was shot in the head the morning of Aug. 20 at the intersection of Boulder Highway and College Drive after he fired at a police officer sitting in her car.
Officer Patricia Longworth was helping control traffic at a fatal crash near Boulder Highway and Racetrack Road about 7 a.m. at the start of her shift. Around 8 a.m., Longworth heard two loud pops that she thought were firecrackers being set off in a nearby gas station parking lot.
But as she looked, she saw Scheboth approaching with his gun raised, still firing at her, Mitchell said.
She thought about returning fire, but realized the better option was to get away from the gunfire. Three bullets hit Longworth’s vehicle, shattering the back window of her patrol car as she drove away.
“I’m being shot at,” Longworth said over the radio.
Her call alerted nearby officers Achim Brunette and Jason Dunn, who were helping control the scene of the same fatal crash. They arrived in a patrol car, and officer Travis Nusbaum followed in a separate vehicle.
Scheboth immediately began firing at the arriving officers as they came into sight, hitting both vehicles several times.
Dunn and Brunette got out of the police SUV, ducked behind their doors for safety, and returned fire, striking Scheboth, who was nearly 400 feet away, once in the head.
Many shots fired by Scheboth came dangerously close to hitting the officers, Mitchell said. One of the bullets would have passed through Longworth’s driver’s side seat, Mitchell said, if it had not hit the “B pillar,” a metal post between the front and back doors of her department-issued Ford Crown Victoria.
Two bullets hit Dunn’s and Brunette’s SUV at forehead level but did not strike the officers, Mitchell noted.
The entire exchange lasted just one minute, Mitchell said. Officers Dunn, Brunette and Nusbaum fired seven shots in all.
Scheboth drove to the crash scene on his motorcycle and dismounted, armed with three pistols — brandishing one, and two in holsters. He left a Ruger Mini-14, a semi-automatic rifle with a scope, on the motorcycle and “ready to fire,” Mitchell said.
“He hadn’t traveled that way or else the gun would have fallen out of the case, so it was prepared for him to grab that gun,” Mitchell said.
Police said he was “successful in the field of computers,” in Ohio in the 1980s and moved into his Henderson home at 478 McBride Way in 1984 with plans to expand his computer business.
“After coming to Las Vegas, Mr. Scheboth grew distant from his family and friends,” Mitchell said.
Inside his Henderson home, all the doors and windows were fortified by metal shutters and screen doors. Some of the 178 guns found at his home were locked away, but several were laying out, loaded and ready to be fired, Mitchell said. Scheboth was a hoarder of books, guns and mementos. Mitchell also noted three competitive shooting trophies awarded to Scheboth were found when the house was searched.
Scheboth did not have drugs or alcohol in his system at the time of the shooting, Mitchell said, and had no previous criminal history with the Henderson Police Department or the Metropolitan Police Department.
Contact reporter Colton Lochhead at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-4638. Find him on Twitter: @ColtonLochhead.