Officer who killed Pahrump casino shooter identified


In the same moment Deputy Ian Michael Deutch was gunned down in the parking lot of a Pahrump casino, his killer was stopped dead by four shots fired by a six-year veteran of the Nye County Sheriff's Office.

Deputy Tom Klenczar opened fire on James Chaffin as he was shooting at Deutch, Sheriff Tony DeMeo said.

Less than two seconds passed between Chaffin's first shot and Klenczar's last, the sheriff said. "That's how quick the whole thing was over."

Nye County authorities revealed Klenczar's name on Friday morning, along with a few new details about Monday's shootout in the parking lot of Terrible's Lakeside Casino & RV Park near the south end of Pahrump.

Capt. Bill Becht said the gunbattle unfolded at close range. Deutch stood 10 to 12 feet away when Chaffin opened up on him, and Klenczar shot Chaffin from a similar distance.

"It was very quick and straightforward," Becht said. "It was just a straight-up gunfight."

Police said Chaffin fired at least 11 rounds from an SKS semi-automatic assault rifle, striking Deutch five times. The deputy's protective vest did not stop the rounds.

DeMeo said all four of Klenczar's shots hit Chaffin in the back because the man was turned away from him firing at Deutch.

Chaffin, 30, died at the scene.

Deutch, 27, died Monday night after emergency surgery at University Medical Center in Las Vegas.

The staff sergeant in the Nevada National Guard was killed on his second day back on the job as a Nye County deputy after a nine-month combat deployment in Afghanistan.

Deputy Doug McKillips, a seven-year veteran with the department, was riding along with Deutch on Monday, but he escaped injury.

Both McKillips, 45, and Klenczar, 39, will remain on routine, paid leave until the investigation of the shooting is complete.

Becht said the men will probably return to duty in a week or two.

This marked the second time in less than two months that Klenczar was involved in a shooting.

DeMeo said Klenczar was fired at during a traffic stop in Pahrump about six weeks ago. The deputy returned fire, hitting the suspect twice. The man later killed himself after a standoff with police.

A funeral service for Deutch will be at 9:30 a.m. today at Canyon Ridge Christian Church. The church is located at 6200 Lone Mountain Road, just west of Jones Boulevard in northwest Las Vegas.

Contact reporter Henry Brean at hbrean@ reviewjournal .com or 702-383-0350.

 

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