An off-duty Las Vegas police detective is on paid administrative leave after he shot a man outside Excalibur hotel-casino on the Strip.
The shooting occurred about 9 p.m. Sunday in a valet area on the southeast side of the medieval-themed resort, police said. The officer and his wife were pulled over in a loading zone when the man, whom they described as about 25 years old, got into the driver’s side of the vehicle while they were removing some packages.
The detective instructed the man to get out of the car, police said, but the man would not listen. The detective then identified himself as a police officer and once again told the man to get out, but he didn’t budge. The man then reached down out of view.
When the officer no longer could see the man’s hands, police said, the detective pulled a gun and fired a single round through the passenger side door, striking the man in the wrist.
After he was shot, the man quickly got out of the vehicle and ran into the Excalibur, police said, where hotel security offered him aid and took him into custody.
The man was taken to University Medical Center with nonlife-threatening injuries, police said.
Police have not released the names of the detective or the man who was shot. There was no word Monday on charges.
Police descriptions of what the man was doing when the detective shot him contain some inconsistencies. Las Vegas police Capt. Brett Primas said he reached underneath the seat of the car before the detective fired. In a video police posted on YouTube, Primas said the man put his hands “down below his waistline, out of view.”
In a news release issued Monday afternoon, police said he “lowered his hands to his waistband.”
Primas, in the YouTube video, also makes a contradictory statement that suggests the man may have exited the detective’s car the first time the officer told him to get out: “The off-duty detective, seeing this, called to the subject and had him come out of the vehicle. The subject was noncompliant.”
A department spokesman wouldn’t address questions about whether Primas misspoke, saying police would take questions at an as-yet-unscheduled news conference. He said he didn’t know whether the detective fired his duty-issued gun or whether police were looking at hotel surveillance video.
MGM Resorts International, the Excalibur’s parent company, said Monday that the man who was shot was not an employee of the resort.
Paid leave, pending an internal investigation, is standard for Metropolitan Police Department officers who deploy firearms. The detective and his wife, who had friends and family staying at Excalibur, were in a personal and not a department-issued vehicle, police said.
“That is always scary,” Primas said. “He (the detective) did not expect that, but he’s doing OK though.”
It is the second recent high-profile shooting at the Excalibur. In December an Illinois man fatally shot his ex-girlfriend in the hotel lobby before killing himself. Police said Edward Brandt, 31, opened fire on Jessica Kenny, 30, with a .38-caliber revolver before turning the gun on himself. Police described it as an isolated event because Brandt had a vendetta against Kenny, whom he hadn’t dated for more than two years.
The Sunday incident was the 13th officer-involved shooting this year, according to Metropolitan Police Department statistics.
Contact Colton Lochhead at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 702-383-4638. Follow him on twitter @clochhead44. Contact Adam Kealoha Causey at email@example.com or 702-383-0361. Follow him on twitter @akcausey.