The fatal shooting of a knife-wielding teen this week was the second shooting in four years for Las Vegas police officer Derek Colling, who was hired by the department in September 2005.
In July 2006 Colling was one of five officers who fired 29 rounds at a domestic violence suspect outside a Circle K. Police said the suspect, 43-year-old Shawn Collins, pulled a revolver from his back pocket after being confronted by the officers. Collins died at the scene. A Clark County coroner’s inquest jury determined the officers’ actions were justified.
Colling was placed on routine paid administrative leave after Tuesday’s fatal shooting.
Police said Colling, an officer with the department’s southeast area command, responded to a 5:13 p.m. domestic disturbance call at the Sunridge Apartment Homes at 4855 Vegas Valley Drive, near Nellis Boulevard.
He arrived to find a mother and son fighting. The son was holding a knife in his hand, according to police. When officers approached the pair, the son grabbed the mother by her shoulder and placed the knife to her neck.
The son did not respond to officers’ requests to drop the knife and made a sudden movement, “as if he was going to injure his mother with the knife,” according to police.
Colling fired a single shot, killing the teen, later identified as 15-year-old Tanner Chamberlain. A medical examiner with the Clark County coroner’s office determined Chamberlain died of a perforating gunshot wound to the head.
Chamberlain’s mother, Evie Oquendo, disputed the police account and said her son was mentally ill and that she had never felt her life was in danger by her son.