A purse snatching led to high-speed police chase and a shootout with officers that left one man dead Friday night, according to Las Vegas police.
Just after 8 p.m., two women were accosted and robbed by a man at Town Square Las Vegas.
Police officers traced one of the women’s cellphones, and began to pursue the subject in the area of the Tropicana Avenue intersection with Dean Martin Drive, said Capt. Matt McCarthy of Metro’s Internal Oversight division during a 1 a.m. press conference Saturday.
When the man began to drive erratically, officers broke off the pursuit, he said.
Police then caught the cellphone’s signal on Interstate 15 at Sahara Avenue, and initiated a second pursuit.
The man’s vehicle collided with another vehicle during the chase, and two people were sent to an area hospital. They were released shortly after, McCarthy said.
The ordeal ended just after 9 p.m. on Sahara, just east of Tam Drive, when the man began to shoot at officers with a handgun, according to police who returned fire. Metro was assembling an arrest team and called medical personnel to the scene where the man was shot in a car, not moving, the Review-Journal has learned.
Police did not confirm the number of officers involved, but Metro radio traffic suggested multiple officers fired on the vehicle.
One officer was injured en route to the scene in a crash that sent two others to the hospital.
The officer was traveling north on I-15 with lights and sirens on and lost control of his patrol car when a black car cut him off.
The officer crashed into the left side of a 2014 Ford Fiesta, injuring the 55-year old driver and his 59-year old passenger, police said Saturday.
The occupants of the Fiesta were taken to University Medical Center with moderate injuries. The officer was treated and released with minor injuries.
Sahara was closed to traffic from Interstate 15 to the Strip in both directions because of the shooting and remained so into early Saturday morning.
McCarthy said additional details should be made available Monday. Metro will release the names of the officers involved after 48 hours.
The man’s identity, as well as the cause and manner of his death, will be released by the Clark County coroner’s office once his family has been notified.
This is the eighth officer-involved shooting in Metro’s jurisdiction in 2014 and the fifth fatal shooting.
Review-Journal writer Mike Blasky contributed to this report. Contact Wesley Juhl at email@example.com and 702-383-0381. Find him on Twitter: @WesJuhl.